The High Court of Delhi has rejected the bail petition of a person, who was accused of stealing valuable property from a godown situated at Khajuri Khas during the North-East Delhi riots of 2020, at the behest of former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma rejected the bail petition of Shoaib Alam, after taking in view the fact that two eye witnesses gave account of his specific role and that threats were being extended to the witnesses.
It further noted that the witnesses were yet to be examined before the Trial Court. The Single-Judge Bench observed that after assessment of threat to the witnesses and finding it real, the concerned authorities had provided protection to them.
As per the FIR filed by one Karan, around 40-50 associates of former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain had looted his godown and burnt various goods due to which he suffered loss of about Rs 25 to 30 lakh.
Alam was booked under Sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 427, 454, 395, 435, 436, 153A, 505, 120B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The prosecution claimed that during investigation, it was found that the place of incident was situated at a distance of about 50 to 60 meters from the building owned by Tahir Hussain, which was allegedly used by the rioters, including Alam, for throwing bricks, stone pelting, pelting of petrol bombs and acid bombs.
Justice Sharma noted that the prosecution has placed on record statements of two witnesses recorded on April 3 and 20, 2020, specifically stating that Alam was involved in the incident and had instigated the mob on communal lines.
It further observed that the beat officers of the area categorically named and assigned specific role to Alam and acts committed by him.
As per the settled law regarding grant of bail, the court was expected to take into account the allegations levelled against the accused as well as the seriousness of the offence committed, it added.
However, the Bench clarified that its observations were only for the purpose of deciding the bail application and would not have any bearing on the merits of the case during trial.
(Case title: Shoaib Alam vs State of NCT of Delhi)