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Delhi Riots-Delhi Court Denies Bail To Woman Accused In Head Constable Murder Case

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 Jan 2021 1:18 PM GMT
Delhi Riots-Delhi Court Denies Bail To Woman Accused In Head Constable Murder Case
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The Karkardooma Court (Delhi) on Friday (08th January) dismissed the bail plea of a woman accused in connection with Head Constable Rattan Lal Murder Case during northeast Delhi riots last year. The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav was hearing the bail application of one Tabassum, who argued that she had been falsely implicated in the instant matter by the investigating agency...

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The Karkardooma Court (Delhi) on Friday (08th January) dismissed the bail plea of a woman accused in connection with Head Constable Rattan Lal Murder Case during northeast Delhi riots last year.

The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav was hearing the bail application of one Tabassum, who argued that she had been falsely implicated in the instant matter by the investigating agency and that she was not present at the scene of crime (SOC) on the date and time of incident.

Facts of the Case

The FIR in the matter was registered on the statement of Constable Sunil Kumar. As per the FIR, on 24th February 2020, the Protest was peacefully going on at the service road (Wazirabad) but at around 1.00 PM, protesters carrying danda/lathies, baseball bat, iron rod and stones started gathering at the main road.

The FIR alleges that though senior officers tried to stop them and asked to return at service road, but the protestors did not pay any heed to their directions and became violent.

The gathering got uncontrolled and started pelting stones on the police on duty. Protesters were raising slogans against the said Bill as well as Government of India.

It has been stated in the FIR after repeated warning and finding no alternative, mild force and gas shells were used to disperse the crowd.

Violent protesters started beating people as well as police personnel, due to which he (Constable Sunil) sustained injury on his right elbow and hand and protesters also attacked upon DCP Shahdara, ACP Gokulpuri, and HC Rattan Lal due to which they fell on the road and sustained grievous injuries and started bleeding.

All the injured persons were taken to hospital, where it was found that HC Rattan Lal had already died due to injuries sustained and DCP Shahdara was unconscious and had sustained head injuries.

Arguments put forth

Applicant's Counsel argued that she did participate in the protest, however, it was reiterated that protesting against some legislation is a "legal and fundamental right" of the applicant and the same cannot be snatched away from her.

On the other hand, the State argued that the applicant (Tabassum) used to share stage with other protestor(s) and instigate the gathering against the Government of India which ultimately led to violence on 24th February 2020, thereby resulting in death of more than 50 people in North­-East District of Delhi, including HC Rattan Lal.

Court's observations

Having perused the statements of a number of witnesses recorded in the matter as well as relevant CCTV footages, the Court prima facie found that on 24th February 2020, from at around 11.00 AM onwards there was some kind of buzz around and the persons of a particular community were clearly seen charged up.

"They were making very aggressive movement towards SOC, having weapons in their hands. Several persons can be seen exhorting the crowd in aggressive over tone. It is also evident that they formed a mob which proceeded towards SOC, may be under some plan or incitement", observed the Court

Importantly, the Court noted,

"It is clearly evident that the protestors and organizers had motivated persons in the mob and certain unscrupulous elements had surrounded the scene of crime and they appeared to be fully equipped with rioting material like stones, sticks, sharp­-edged weapons and other sort of raw weapons."

Noting that everything was being done under a well­-hatched conspiracy, The Court further remarked,

"Even burqa­-clad women are clearly seen attacking the police party with sticks and other material in their hands and they clearly appeared to be charged up. It has also come on record that some of the persons of the mob had taken possession of the rooftops of high­rise buildings at or around 25 feet road, having firearms and other rioting material with them."

Regarding the case of the Applicant, the Court observed that in certain snapshots of the spot/SOC, the applicant was clearly visible and that she was categorically identified by independent public witness in their statements.

The Court also noted that her CDR details show that she had made as many as 15 calls to co­-accused Shadab between the period 25th January 2020 till 24th February 2020 and from the said CDR record, it was quite apparent that the applicant has been constantly moving from one point to another point at the protest site/SOC, "meaning thereby that she was quite active at that time."

Denying her the benefit of bail, the Court said,

"This Court cannot lose sight of the fact that applicant did not cooperate in the investigation right from the day her name cropped in the matter and instead absconded in the matter and the investigating agency was compelled to take coercive measures against her."

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