A Delhi court granted bail to a Delhi riots accused while questioning the credibility of the witnesses on the case, one of them being a constable. The court questioned why there was a delay in identifying the applicant on the date of the incident itself, instead of waiting for several months.
The FIR was registered on March 5 on complaint of Rajesh Singh, owner of Fair Deal Cars Pvt ltd whose showroom was damaged, vandalized and thereafter set on fire by the riotous mob on February 25. Salim Malik was arrested with few other accused who have been enlarged on bail. Malik’s counsel told the court that apart from considering parity while granting bail, Malik has been falsely implicated in the case. He further argued that Malik was named in the FIR in the first place and was also not present at the scene of crime.
The prosecutor argued that “riots were part of large scale conspiracy hatched at various levels all over Delhi in the aftermath of enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (in short “CAA”) and the same did not take place spontaneously. These riots were the result of a well-planned and meticulously executed action by the anti-CAA protesters”.
The Additional Sessions Judge, Vinod Yadav in his order dated November 25, 2020, noted that the statement of the primary witness who identified Malik as being one of the rioters, was recorded 3 months after the incident took place. There are no specific allegations against Malik in the FIR and neither has he been named in it. The court observed, on the basis of the statement of Primary Witness Zahid Hasan, applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity in the present matter. Another witness on the case was a Beat Constable and the court observed, “This Court is not able to understand as to why said Beat Constable waited till the arrest of the applicant to name the applicant, when he had categorically seen and identified the applicant indulging in riots on the date of incident”.
The court further questioned the credibility of the constable as a witness and questioned, “Being police official, what stopped him from reporting the matter then and there in the PS or to bring the same in the knowledge of higher police officers.
The Court thus decided to grant bail to Malik not only on basis of parity since other co-accused were enlarged on bail but also since the chargesheet has been filed and trial could take a long time, “applicant cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter.”
Thus, Malik was granted bail on condition that he furnishes personal bond of Rs. 20,000 with one surety in the like amount and subject to the condition that he shall not tamper with the evidence or influence any witness in any manner; he shall maintain peace and harmony in the locality and that he shall appear before the Court on each and every date of hearing.
The order may be read here.