3 Nov 2020 5:29 AM GMT
In the judgement pronounced on 2nd November 2020, the single judge bench of Jus. Suresh Kumar Kait allowing the State Government's appeal had set aside the bail order dated 20th June 2020, passed by Sh.Vinod Yadav, learned ASJ, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi in pursuance to FIR No.134/2020 dated 05.03.2020 registered at Police Station Dayal Pur, Delhi for the offences punishable...
In the judgement pronounced on 2nd November 2020, the single judge bench of Jus. Suresh Kumar Kait allowing the State Government's appeal had set aside the bail order dated 20th June 2020, passed by Sh.Vinod Yadav, learned ASJ, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi in pursuance to FIR No.134/2020 dated 05.03.2020 registered at Police Station Dayal Pur, Delhi for the offences punishable u/s 147/148/149/307/395/436/ 455/201/114/505/153-A/120-B of IPC.
The respondent/accused is an educationist, responsible for running and managing various schools like the Rajdhani Public School and Victoria Public School. He is accused of leading riots in the Northeastern parts of Delhi in February this year.
The Ld. Counsel for the respondent/accused, Sr. Adv. Ramesh Gupta, had argued that, Faisal had no criminal antecedents and the same had been admitted by the Investigating Officer and duly recorded in the Bail order dated 20th June 2020. It was also brought out before the court that he had never made any attempt of absconding and was not at flight risk and had also cooperated with the investigating agencies. It was also highlighted that the Ld. Sessions Court while granting the Bail had looked into the CDR Records of the Mobile Phone of the Respondent which showed that on the date of the alleged incident on 24 the February 2020, he had called the Police 6 times for help and made complaint about the damage caused to his School. Even the Chargesheet had recorded that Faisal was not present at the scene of the riots. It was argued that, the respondent was arrested in March and the Chargesheet was filed in June and that the trial was likely to take time for which the Respondent ought to be released on bail.
A distinction was also sought to be established between rejection of bail and cancellation of bail already granted placing reliance on the Supreme Court judgement in Dolat Ram & Ors. vs. State of Haryana (1995 SCC (1) 349) among others. A bail once granted cannot be cancelled without "cogent" and "overwhelming" reasons and the present petition had failed to bring out any such reasons. Prosecution's own evidence (photograph) relied upon by them also showed Faisal in the vicinity of the school around 2 PM when they claim that the riots commenced after 3PM.
The Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for the State argued that, Faisal was the kingpin and mastermind of the alleged incident and had deliberately allowed rioters to use his school to wreak havoc in surrounding areas, particularly the neighbouring DRP School. He asserted that, bail of the Respondent/ accused in this case will adversely affect the investigation of other related cases too. The brazenness and impunity with which the accused had committed these offences disentitled him from seeking bail and his character indicates the likelihood of him evading the process of law and threatening the witnesses.
The State also maintained that, Faisal had made available ropes, bottles, etc., and the catapult to be used by rioters. The lower court had erred in construing the evidentiary statements of the Prosecution witnesses Roop Singh, Manoj and Geeta.
On the basis of the arguments the High Court finding merits in the submission of the State had held that the lower court had allowed Faisal bail at a premature stage ignoring relevant material. It was observed that, "...keeping in view the fact that respondent/accused is wealthy and he has reputation and roots in the society, therefore, since investigation in the present FIR is pending and the prosecution is likely to file supplementary chargesheet, therefore, the respondent/ accused may influence the witnesses and hamper the investigation and trial."
The High Court from the material produced on record concluded that, The CCTV footage produced showed Faisal behind Rajdhani School. The Additional Sessions Judge had found to the contrary. There were flowcharts to show that his links to Pinjra Tod, PFI, and Muslim Clerics, but investigations were ongoing. The lower court had wrongly relied on the statements of the prosecution witnesses to arrive at the finding of non-involvement of the accused in the riots.
The court also took note of the lower court's order being kept on hold by a Supreme Court order, and recorded that Faisal continued in prison even after the bail initially allowed him. It may also be noted that the High Court while cancelling the order of bail also cautioned that
"The Trial Court shall not get influenced during trial by the observations made by this Court while passing this order."
Sr. Adv. Ramesh Gupta represented the Accused/Respondent.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi appeared for the State.
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