A Delhi Sessions court granted bail to a man accused of murder of an auto-driver during the Delhi riots while observing that statements of police and primary witnesses were recorded after considerable and unexplained delay.
The accused, Kuldeep Singh, was denied bail twice before, by this court, and this third bail application was filed since the two other accused in the case were granted bail by Delhi High Court and one other accused was granted bail by this court. The applicant/accused pleaded that he be granted bail on the ground of parity. Further, the applicant argues that he is a young 28-year-old married man with a minor daughter and is the sole bread earner of the family with ailing parents and dependent sisters. He contended that he has been falsely implicated in the case and has not been named in the FIR either. He further argued that he is not being seen in any CCTV footage, no recovery has been effected from him by the police. He also argued that the statements of the cops and other witnesses cannot be considered as authentic or reliable, as the same were recorded after a long gap of more than 80 days of the incident.
The prosecution argued that the case pertains to murder of an innocent auto-driver and since the applicant resides in the same area as the family of the deceased, there is possibility that the applicant might threaten the witnesses.
The court relied upon the Delhi High Court order granting bail to the other accused whereby the court had observed that the statement of the witnesses was recorded almost 2 months after the incident and deemed their statements to be unreliable since they submitted that they were present at the spot and saw the incident happening, yet they did not lodge any complaint neither did they make any calls to the Police Control room.
The Assistant Sessions Judge, Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma court, held that the statement of the primary eye witness in the case was recorded after a “humongous delay of 83 days” and the prosecution failed to accord any cogent explanation for this delay. The court observed that neither of the witnesses approached any police station nor made a call on 100 about the incident for so many days.
The court also addressed the identification of the application by the cops only in a supplementary statement recorded in May, while the incident took place in February. “Being police officials, what stopped them from reporting the matter then and there in the PS or to bring the same in the knowledge of higher police officers,” questioned the court. The court held that this casts a serious doubt on the credibility of the police witnesses as well.
“Admittedly, the applicant is neither visible in any CCTV footage nor he has been specifically named in the FIR,” states the order. The court granted bail to the applicant on ground of parity on his furnishing a Personal Bond in the sum of Rs.20,000 with one surety of like amount; subject to conditions that he will not tamper with evidence, shall maintain peace and harmony in the locality and that he shall appear before the Court on each and every hearing and so on.
The complete order may be read here