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Allahabad High Court grants bail to man accused of leading mob in Prayagraj violence

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The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to Javed Mohammad @ Pump, the alleged mastermind of the violence in Prayagraj on June 10, 2022.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sameer Jain passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Javed Mohammad @ Pump.

The bail application has been filed seeking release of the applicant on bail in Case under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 153-B, 295A, 307, 332, 336, 353, 435, 427, 504, 505(2), 506, 120-B IPC, 4/5 Explosive Substance Act, 7 C.L.A Act, 83 Juvenile Justice Act and ¾ Public Property Damages Act as well as 3 Explosive Substance Act Police Station Kareli, District- Prayagraj, during pendency of the trial in the court below.

According to the FIR, the accused persons pelted stones on the vehicles of police party and set vehicles on fire and also damaged public property after Friday prayers.

In the FIR, 14 persons were named and more than 200 persons were unnamed. Applicant was named with 14 others. It is further alleged, in the incident some police personnel sustained injuries and due to the act of accused persons, law and order was severely disturbed.

The counsel for the applicant submitted that the entire allegations made against the applicant are totally false and baseless and the applicant was accused in the matter along with 14 named accused persons on the basis of general and omnibus allegations.

He further submitted that the applicant neither participated in the incident nor was he instrumental for such incident.

He also submitted that, even as per the FIR more than 200 persons were participating in the incident but out of them only 14 persons were named including applicant and this fact clearly suggest that who were well known in the locality have been implicated by the police and police nominated them in the FIR including applicant.

The counsel for the applicant said that the applicant is a social worker and he spoke out against the atrocity and only due to this reason, he has been falsely implicated by the police in the matter.

The counsel for the applicant further said that, although, there is allegation that mob was hurling bomb too and number of police vehicles were also damaged but there is no allegation that applicant was either hurling the bomb or he set the vehicles on fire or on his exhortation or instigation bombs were hurled and vehicles were burnt.

He next submitted that a number of similarly placed co-accused persons have already been released on bail in the matter by coordinate benches of the Court including the persons who were also named in the FIR along with the applicant and case of applicant is at par with those accused who were also named in the FIR.

The counsel for the applicant also said the applicant was neither arrested at the spot nor was any incriminating material recovered from his possession.

Per contra, Additional Advocate General vehemently opposed the prayer for bail and submitted that in the incident a number of police vehicles were damaged and applicant along with other accused persons promoted enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and race.

He further submitted that the act of the applicant was prejudicial to national integration and from the FIR itself, it appears that applicant along with other accused persons tried to create terror among the common people and law and order was badly disturbed.

He also submitted that even in the statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC, the applicant stated that he is having grudge with the government and he instructed the people to gather at Atala Crossing on 10.6.2022, the date of incident and this fact clearly suggest that applicant was instrumental for the mob violence occurred on 10.6.2022.

The Court observed that it considered the entire evidence available on record including the statements of prosecution witnesses and statements of applicant and other accused persons recorded during investigation then it appears that it is a case of mob violence and at this stage, it cannot be said that the applicant was instrumental for such violence. It can only be said that he was instrumental for such a large gathering of people.

Further, applicant has been challaned under Section 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 153-B, 295A, 307, 332, 336, 353, 435, 427, 504, 505(2), 506, 120-B IPC, 4/5 Explosive Substance Act but offences under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 336, 435, 427, 504 are bailable and except offences under Section 307 IPC and 5 Explosive Substances Act for all the offences maximum punishment is either of three years or of seven years and as there is no allegation that applicant is either having any bomb or he hurled any bomb or he caused any injury to police personnels, therefore, merely on the basis of existence of Section 307 IPC and 4/5 Explosive Substances Act in the charge-sheet he cannot be denied bail.

Further, in the FIR total 14 persons were nominated including applicants and a number of such accused persons have already been released on bail by the coordinate bench of this Court and as per allegation made in the FIR and in the statements of prosecution witnesses recorded during investigation the case of applicant is also at par with these accused persons.

“Bail is a rule and jail is an exception and bail cannot be rejected for punitive purposes. Although, it appears that due to the aggression and activeness of the applicant, people of his community gathered in large number and thereafter mob committed the violence but considering the fact that applicant does not appear to be instrumental for such violence and he is in jail, in the matter, since 10.6.2022 and number of similarly placed accused persons have already been enlarged on bail, and also considering the law laid down by the Apex Court in case of Satyendra Kumar Antil (supra) case, in my view applicant is entitled to be released on bail,” the Court further observed while allowing the bail application.

The Court ordered let the applicant- Javed Mohammad @ Pump be released on bail in the aforesaid case on furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned with the following conditions:-(i) The applicant shall appear before the trial court on the dates fixed, unless his personal presence is exempted.

(ii) The applicant shall not directly or indirectly, make inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or any police officer or tamper with the evidence.

(iii) The applicant shall not indulge in any criminal and antisocial activity.

In case of breach of any of the above conditions, the prosecution will be at liberty to move an application before the Court for cancellation of the bail of the applicant.

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