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Delhi HC grants bail to auto driver arrested in North-east Delhi riots

The Court granted the bail to the petitioner upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs 15,000 and a surety of like amount

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The Delhi High Court has granted bail to an auto-rickshaw driver arrested in the North-east Delhi riots while stating that the petitioner being an auto-rickshaw driver is not a flight risk and has no opportunity to tamper with the evidence.

A single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has noted that “it is not in dispute that the prosecution has admitted the factum that CDR location of the petitioner does not establish his presence at the incident site in bail application No. 214/2021 filed by the petitioner in FIR No. 134/2020 before Ld. ASJ. This submission supports the case of the petitioner that his CDR locations are only in the vicinity of the incident site for he resides in Shakti Vihar which is close to the incident site and his possibility is there being an Auto Rickshaw Puller.”

The petition has been filed by the petitioner under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure for grant of bail in case FIR No.39/2020, for the offences punishable under Sections 147/148/149/302/201/436/427/120-B/34 IPC, registered at PS Gokul Puri, Delhi.

The Case of the prosecution was that pursuant to the PCR call. When the police reached at the place of incidence in a building, it found a dead body in burnt condition without hands and legs. The deceased was identified as Dilbar Singh Negi S/o Gopal Singh R/o Village- Shekhda, Chaki Sen, Pauri Garwal, Uttrakhand, who used to work as a waiter in Anil Sweet Corner. Accordingly, the FIR was registered. The investigation of case was transferred to Crime Branch SIT.

In the matter, the FIR was registered at Gokulpuri Police Station subsequent to the retrieval of the charred body of a young worker Dilbar Negi by the police on the second floor of Anil Sweet Shop. During the investigation police had arrested many accused person and the present petitioner was among them.

The Counsel appeared for the petitioner argued that the prosecution has a flimsy case against the petitioner which is; (i) a statement of Himanshu, a student of 12th standard who claims to have seen the petitioner participating in sloganeering and stone pelting; and (ii) the CDR location which claims to establish the presence of the petitioner at the scene of the incident.

It was further argued that the prosecution has admitted the factum that the CDR location of the petitioner does not establish his bail application 4104/2020 Page 5 of 9 presence at the incident site in bail application bearing No.214/2021 which was filed by the petitioner seeking bail in FIR No.134/2020 before Ld. ASJ.

It was further argued by the counsel for petitioner that the credibility of witness Roop Singh has been doubted by the Ld. ASJ mentioned above. Thus, the petitioner deserves bail.

Counsel appeared for the state submitted that during the course of investigation, statements of the eye-witnesses, who were living in the vicinity of the incident and were got effected by the riots were recorded. On 11.03.2020, one eye-witness, namely, Himanshu, whose house was looted and torched by the riotous mob named, identified and stated u/s 161 Cr.P.C that petitioner was actively involved in the riot which took place on 24.02.2020 which caused the death of Dilbar Negi.

It was further argued by the respondent petitioner that the present case has emerged from deep rooted conspiracy, which was hatched under the garb of bail application 4104/2020 Page 7 of 9 democratically opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill. “Without commenting on the merits of the prosecution case, I am of the view, the petitioner deserves bail,” said Justice Kait.

The Court also noted that, “Inspection Officer himself, while seeking judicial remand against the petitioner on 12.03.2020, admitted that only evidence they have against the petitioner is under Sections 147/148/149/153-A IPC. Even in supplementary charge-sheet, nothing more has been said against the petitioner.”

Further, it noted, “The charge-sheet has been filed and case is committed before Ld. ASJ on 15.01.2021 and now listed for arguments on charge. Thus, trial of the present case will take substantial time.”

The Court granted the bail to the petitioner upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs 15,000 and a surety of like amount.

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