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Delhi High Court grants bail to Delhi riots accused suffering from psychotic disorder

Learned counsel submitted that petitioner is suffering from 'Acute Transient Psychotic Disorder' (ATPD) and he was admitted at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, Delhi (IHBAS).

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday has granted bail to a man suffering from Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorder (ATPD) accused in North East Delhi Riots which took place last year in February.

A Single-Judge Bench of Suresh Kumar Kait passed this order while hearing Bail Application registered in police station Dayalpur, for the offence under Sections 186/353/332/333/323/109/144/147/148/149/153-A/188/336/427/ 307/97/412/302/201/120-B/34 IPC read with Section 3/4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, read with Sections 25/27/54/59 Arms Act, 1959.

The High Court has noted that the trial court while granting bail to the petitioner in another FIR had observed that the prosecution had opposed the bail on the strength of CCTV footage wherein petitioner could be seen holding a “danda” in his hands and of having been specifically identified by official witness Beat Constable Mukesh, but has doubted the statement of this witness Mukesh.

“Though this Court refrains from commenting upon the credibility of Mukesh amidst trial, yet takes notice of the fact that the identification of petitioner by the prosecution before the trial court and this court is at variance. In one of the videos played before this Court, a person (allegedly the petitioner) ‘showing his back’ and walking with the mob is shown, whereas in another clipping, the distance between the camera and person is such that the face and features cannot be seen clearly to identify correctly as to who the person is. Further the case of prosecution is that petitioner had burnt his clothes to hide his identity and these facts, prima facie brings the case of prosecution under cloud,” said the Delhi High Court.

The FIR in question was registered on 25.02.2020 at the instance of Constable Sunil, posted at police station Dayalpuri, Delhi, who on 24.02.2020 along with other members of the police team was deployed at Chand Bagh, Delhi, and were brutally attacked by mob during riots. In the alleged incident, Head Constable Ratan Lal lost his life and DCP Shahdara and ACP Gokulpuri sustained grievous injuries.

Mr. Tanveer Ahmed, learned counsel appearing on behalf of petitioner submitted that petitioner’s name was not there in the FIR in question and in the charge sheet. Thereafter, prosecuting agency further investigated the case and filed three supplementary charge sheets, still petitioner was not charge sheeted. However, his name has been mentioned in the fourth supplementary charge sheet and the only allegations against the petitioner is that in the footage of CCTV camera installed by GNCT of Delhi and a video shot by one Vishal Chaudhary, he is seen as part of the mob and pelting stones.

In addition, learned counsel submitted that petitioner is suffering from ‘Acute Transient Psychotic Disorder’ (ATPD) and he was admitted at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, Delhi (IHBAS).

Learned Special Public Prosecutor also submitted that petitioner was suffering from ATPD, however, there are different subtypes of ATPD, some of which have a maximum duration of symptoms for one month and others for a maximum duration of 3 months.

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After hearing both the parties Hon’ble Delhi High Court concluded that the petitioner is behind bars in this case since 19.11.2020 and in view of facts and circumstances of this case, this Court finds that petitioner cannot be made to languish behind bars for an indefinite period of time. In view of the above, without commenting on the merits of the case, the petitioner is directed to be released on bail.(ILNS)AG

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