Delhi riots: HC cancels Faisal Farooq’s bail granted by Trial Court

The court observed that there was relevant material that pointed to him being present at the riot site.


The Delhi High Court has allowed a petition of Delhi Police against a lower court’s decision to grant bail to Rajdhani Public School owner Faisal Farooq in the Northeast Delhi riots case (State v Faisal Farooq– Crl. M.C 1521 of 2020).

Mr. Aman Lekhi, Additional Solicitor General, Mr. Amit Mahajan, Central Government Standing Counsel and Special Public Prosecutor Mr. Rajat Nair appeared for the petitioner State. Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta represented the respondent Faisal.   

The single bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that the learned Additional Sessions Judge had erred in granting bail and that there was material that pointed to Farooq being present around the area of the riots. Under this effect the court overturned the lower court’s decision that Farooq was not present at the scene of the riots near Rajdhani school.

He noted, “The Ld. ASJ has failed to appreciate that while deciding an application for bail, the interest of the society is also to be safeguarded. The entire country is aggrieved by the action of such offenders who tarnish the basic secular fabric of the nation and needs to be punished severely. Personal liberty of an individual though precious, is of little value if the larger interest of the people and nation are at stake.”

The court also listed out the reasons behind finding the lower court’s decision perverse. It said that, “The respondent / accused is clearly seen in CCTV footage behind Rajdhani School on 24.2.2020 and in front of Rajdhani School till 02:08 pm. He allowed his school premises to be used by rioters to attack the opposite party.” Further, the court pointed out that, “Roop Singh, a guard at DRP School, witnessed to having observed Faisal leave the school on a motorcycle. This was corroborated by other witnesses as well. The lower court had recorded the contrary, that Roop Singh had not witnessed seeing Faisal or overhearing anything that pointed to his involvement.”

The court also took cognizance of Roop Singh’s testimony that, “he heard Faisal tell Manoj to allow the Muslims into the school and today we will show the Hindus. (En saab Ko Andaar Jane Do. Yeh sab Mussalman Bhai. Aaj Hindu ko dekh lenge).” Manoj, a security guard at Rajdhani School had testified that Faisal left the school with instructions that rioters were to be allowed inside the building. The riots began thereafter. In his testimony before the lower court Manoj stated that Faisal spoke to some persons outside the school at 1:30 PM, leaving soon after. “The riots began only at 3 PM,” he added.

Justice Kait further observed that, contrary to what Faisal had claimed about the damage caused to his school property, an inspection showed only superficial damage to the school building. Bricks, an enormous iron catapult, glass bottles with petrol and other evidence was recovered from the school. The lower court had accepted that the catapult was installed on the terrace of the school only 16 days after the riots. But the High court concluded that investigation was still in progress and there were pertinent questions about who installed the ‘industrial size’ catapult on the roof of Rajdhani school.

By providing these reasons, the High Court settled that the, “learned Trial Court has granted bail to the respondent/accused at pre-mature stage while ignoring the relevant material on record.” The court was also of the view that since the “respondent/accused is wealthy and he has reputation and roots in the society, therefore, since investigation in the present FIR is pending and the prosecution is likely to file supplementary chargesheet, therefore, the respondent/ accused may influence the witnesses and hamper the investigation and trial.”

Setting aside the trial courts order dated June 20, 2020 granting bail to Faisal, the judge cautioned, “I hereby make it clear that the Trial Court shall not get influenced during trial by the observations made by this Court while passing this order.”

Communal clashes had broken out in February 2020 between citizenship law supporters and protesters in north east Delhi rendering 53 people dead and several injured.

The judgment may be read here: 



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