A Delhi Court recently denied anticipatory bail to one Siraj Ahmad Khan, accused for being a part of a riotous mob which attacked a young boy namely Raman, in connection with the Delhi riots that broke out in February last year after opining that such days were "reminiscent of carnage during the days of partition."
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav rejected the anticipatory bail application after observing thus:
"It is common knowledge that the dreary day(s) of 24/25.02.2020 saw parts of North-East Delhi gripped by a communal frenzy, reminiscent of carnage during the days of partition. Soon, the riots spread like wildfire across the smoke-grey skyline of Capital, engulfing new areas and snuffing out more and more innocent lives."
According to the prosecution, it was alleged that a mob consisting of about 15-20 hooligans brutally attacked the complainant Raman with "swords and dandas" on 25th February resulting in him sustaining severe injuries on the head, back and feet. It was therefore the case of the prosecution that the investigation revealed a "deep rooted conspiracy" which triggered the communal riots in North East Delhi region.
Special Public Prosecutor Saleem Ahmed submitted before the Court that "a web of conspirators" were indentified and arrested by the police in the matter and that the riots were not impromptu, but were conspired with the intent to create communal strife and to malign the image of the country under the garb of democratically opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. Moreover, it was argued that the "common object" of the accused persons was to cause maximum damage to the persons and properties of "other community".
Khan was declared as a proclaimed offender by the Court vide order dated 23rd December 2020. According to the prosecution, Khan had deliberately absconded in the case which is why his custodial interrogation was necessary to "unearth the entire conspiracy."
On the other hand, it was argued on behalf of the applicant accused that he was falsely implicated in the case and that no specific role has been assigned to him in the matter for the alleged offences. Therefore, Khan had sought anticipatory bail on the ground of parity submitting that other co accused persons have been granted bail in the matter.
Furthermore, it was also submitted on behalf of the accused that the officials of the New Usmanpur Police Station were threatening his family members to arrest him and had visited his house in odd hours. Moreover, it was also argued that no notice under sec. 160 CrPC was issued by the investigating agency either against the applicant or his family members.
Regarding his presence at the crime scene, the SPP argued that the CCTV footage clearly showed Khan carrying a spear in his hands.
Analyzing the facts of the case, the Court observed that it was "prima facie apparent" that Khan was called several times by the investigating agency to join the investigation in the matter, but was still evading his appearance before the agency. The Court also opined that the fact of other co-accused persons also having been enlarged on bail by this Court "will not water down the conduct of applicant which he has displayed in the matter by absconding right from the day when his name cropped in the matter."
"The allegations against the applicant are grave in nature. The presence/appearance of applicant is very much necessary to unearth the conspiracy involved in planning, instigating and fanning the flames of communal conflagration. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case in totality and the conduct exhibited by applicant during the course of investigation, I do not find it to be a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail to the applicant. The application for anticipatory bail is accordingly dismissed." The Court observed while rejected the grant of anticipatory bail.