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[Delhi Riots] Not Being Spotted By CCTV Doesn't Prove Non-Involvement In Unlawful Assembly: Delhi High Court Observes In Bail Hearing

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 Aug 2021 11:30 AM GMT
[Delhi Riots] Not Being Spotted By CCTV Doesnt Prove Non-Involvement In Unlawful Assembly: Delhi High Court Observes In Bail Hearing
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday 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."It's just a two minutes video with thousands of people. Merely because you have not been captured in it is no ground to say that you were not there," Justice Subramonium Prasad remarked...

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday 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.

"It's just a two minutes video with thousands of people. Merely because you have not been captured in it is no ground to say that you were not there," Justice Subramonium Prasad remarked while hearing a batch of bail pleas concerning the case.

The remarks were made when one of the counsels argued that the concerned accused was not spotted on the footage of the alleged mob, that has been presented by the prosecution. It was argued that the accused were not part of the alleged unlawful assembly as they were not spotted by the Cameras.

Rejecting this argument, the Court observed,

"Camera were systematically covered/ dislodged in the process. Not being spotted is not ground at this point."

The bench added that whether the charge of unlawful assembly under Section 149 IPC should be levelled against the accused is a matter for determination at trial and does not concern the court for Bail.

In his submissions, ASG SV Raju dubbed the task of identifying accused persons through videography as a "herculean" task.
"If a person is identified it's a bonus but if he isn't, that doesn't mean he is not part of the mob," he had argued.

Defence' Submissions

Advocate Salim Malik persuaded the Court to release the accused Irshad Ali, a tailor by profession and father of three daughters, including a minor. He asserted that there are more than 400 witnesses in the case and the trial is not likely to begin soon.

Advocate Dinesh Tiwari appeared for accused Furkan, Sadiq and Suvaleen.

He submitted that Furkan was not seen in any video clippings produced by the Police and he was not a part of the alleged unlawful assembly.

"He is seen in only one footage which is of his own gali," Tiwari submitted.

Sadiq has been identified from the CCTV footage as the man in a yellow T-shirt, moving towards the scene of crime where the policemen were assaulted.

"He's the man in yellow T-shirt?" the Court asked.

"Yes, but his face is not seen. So how can they say it's me?" Tiwari responded.

"That will be determined at trial," said the Court.

Tiwari also contended that Sadiq had no involvement in the murder of head constable Rattan Lal who was shot dead during the riots. "He did not have a gun," Tiwari argued.

Rejecting this argument, the Court said, "Merely because you weren't seen with gun doesn't mean there was no gun."

So far as the accused Suvaleen was concerned, Tiwari argued that he was not involved in the alleged conspiracy. "There are no witnesses, no CCTV footage against him. Prosecution claims that violence is pre-planned. But there's nothing on record to show that my clients were present in the meeting. They are not a part of any pre-planning," Tiwari pressed.

The Court however asked the counsel to restrict his arguments to the question of bail and not framing of charges.

The Court also heard Advocate Shahid Ali for accused Mohd. Ibrahim, who the Court said had been spotted carrying "the most lethal weapon"- a sword!

"What was he doing with a sword," it asked.

The defence claimed that he was carrying a sword for protecting his locality and he is not seen in any CCTV footage other than that situated near his locality.

The matter is now slated to be heard on August 16, at 4.30 pm where the Public Prosecutor will address the Court on issues relating to delay in filing of FIRs, etc.

Case Title: Md. Arif v. State and other connected matters

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