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Delhi Riots: High Court Reserves Judgment In Bail Pleas Filed By 11 Accused Persons In Head Constable Ratan Lal Murder Case

Nupur Thapliyal
16 Aug 2021 12:27 PM GMT
Delhi Riots: High Court Reserves Judgment In Bail Pleas Filed By 11 Accused Persons In Head Constable Ratan Lal Murder Case
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The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its judgement in the bail pleas filed by 11 accused persons in connection with the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal during the North-East Delhi riots that erupted in the national capital last year. (FIR 60/2020 PS DayalPur)Justice Subramonium Prasad reserved the order after hearing at length various counsels appearing on behalf of the accused...

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The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved its judgement in the bail pleas filed by 11 accused persons in connection with the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal during the North-East Delhi riots that erupted in the national capital last year. (FIR 60/2020 PS DayalPur)

Justice Subramonium Prasad reserved the order after hearing at length various counsels appearing on behalf of the accused persons along with ASG SV Raju and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appearing for prosecution.

During the course of hearing on Monday, the Court heard sub rebuttal made by Prasad and Raju refuting the arguments made by the accused persons.

The primary submission rested on the aspect of delay in FIR and also with regards to the recording of statement of witnesses.

It was submitted that due a hostile environment created at the time of riots, people were not willing to come out and give their statements which resulted in a delay in recording of their statements.

ASG Raju submitted:

"There is no universal rule that if a statement was delayed, it cannot be relied upon. People were terrified, there was corona. All these facts have to be seen. Whether statement can be relied or not, it is a matter of trial."

Furthermore, he also relied upon two documents filed by him regarding statement of witnesses against accused persons and the role of every accused in the matter.

"If both these charts are looked at, it shows the role, presence and applicability of sec. 149 of IPC. It's a clear case where bail is not warranted in the facts of this case," he submitted. 

However the Court asked the prosecution to share the aforesaid documents as they were not given to the Court. After hearing the sub rebuttal arguments, the Court reserved judgment in the bail pleas.

"Arguments heard. Judgment reserved," Justice Subramonium Prasad ordered.

Last week, while hearing the rebuttal arguments made by the accused persons, the Court had observed that the mere fact that an accused in the Delhi Riots case was not spotted on the CCTV footage, could not be a sufficient ground to claim innocence in the matter.

Earlier, Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid appearing for accused Mohd. Ayyub and Saleem Khan, submitted that mere presence of the accused persons at the crime scene does not by itself mean that were part of the alleged unlawful assembly. 

Prior to this, Senior Advocate Rebecca John appearing for accused Shadab Ahmed argued that there were loopholes and contradictions in Delhi Police's investigation with regards to a Delhi Riots case. 

On the other hand, ASG SV Raju had, during previous course of hearing, told the Court that the violence did not occur in the spur of the moment but was a result of "meticulous planning". He stated that women and children were kept at the forefront of the mob, disabling police from taking any action against stone-pelting.

The Court had also posed a question to the prosecution that whether the accused persons be kept in continued detention, even after 16 months.

Case Title: Md. Arif v. State (BA 774/2021) and connected cases

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