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Delhi riots: Delhi High Court grants bail to Khalid’s alleged accomplice Faizan, says no proof on record

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi High Court has granted bail to Faizan Khan, an accused in the Anti-CAA Delhi riots of February 23-25, this year. The court found no proof on record, such as CCTV footage, video or chats.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait noted that the petitioner voluntarily appeared before the agency for questioning and did not evade or flee between the periods of registration of the FIR i.e. (06.03.2020) and the date of his arrest i.e. (29.07.2020).

“It is pertinent to mention here that the onerous conditions/embargo under section 43D (5) of the UAPA, 1967 will not be applicable in the present case qua the petitioner herein as per the material on record and the investigating agency’s owns status report, which does not disclose the commission of the offences under the UAPA, 1967, except bald statements of the witnesses,” the Court further said.

Faizan Khan has filed the bail application before the High Court under section 439 of CrPC.

Delhi Police, while opposing Faizan’s bail, alleged that “the mobile phones of the arrested accused persons were sent to CERT-IN for analysis. As per the investigations, it has emerged that the present conspiracy was planned and executed extensively using WhatsApp groups for coordination between the various co-accused and other like-minded persons.”

The respondents further stated: “Report of CERT-IN revealed that different WhatsApp groups were formed for Coordination and passing directions regarding mobilization of people at locations of CAA protest sites which led to riots. During the investigation of mobile phones, it was revealed that Mobile No. 9205448022 was highly active. The police said the number was declared as the official number of “Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC)” and was active in all WhatsApp group of JCC i.e. “Jamia Coordination Committee”, “JCC JMI Official”, “JCC_JMI” and “JMI”. There were “four WhatsApp groups” which were formed for Co-ordination and passing directions regarding mobilization of people at locations of CAA protest sites which led to riots.”

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Faizan sought regular bail on the ground that the media team of the JCC used that particular mobile number in question. The number is 9205448022. The media team was headed by co-accused Safoora Zargar, who has already been released on bail. Also, three other accused, against whom investigation is pending, have also been released on bail.

Delhi Police has also alleged that the “petitioner with preconceived mind knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally activated the above said SIM card on forged and fabricated documents in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit, advocates, abet, facilitate the commission of, a Terrorist Act and in furtherance to the preparatory steps to the commission of a Terrorist Act.”

However, Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid appearing for the petitioner submitted that “the investigating agency has misapplied and wrongly invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 against the present petitioner. There is neither any allegation that the petitioner indulged in any terrorist act nor is there any material that even remotely shows that the petitioner funded any terror activity.”

Khurshid further stated: “The invocation of the UAPA, 1967 vis-à-vis the petitioner is a gross abuse by the investigating agency to deprive the petitioner of his personal liberty”

The bench noted: “The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Hitendra Vishnu Thakur vs. the State of Maharashtra: (1994) 4 SCC 602, said that ‘the designated Court should always consider carefully the material available on record and apply its mind to see whether the provisions of TADA are even prima facie attracted’.”

The court allowed the applicant to be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court.

Read the judgment here;

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