The Delhi High Court has granted bail to an accused in the Delhi violence, since the CCTV footage relied upon by the police to identify the accused, was different from the footage shown in trial court to identify the same accused. The bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail while observing that “the identification of petitioner by the prosecution before the trial court and this court is at variance”.
The petitioner, Mohd. Mansoor was charged under several sections of the IPC as well as Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and the Arms Act for being part of the mob on February 24, which allegedly attacked cops, an incident in which Head Constable Ratan Lal lost his life, and DCP Shahdara and ACP Gokulpuri sustained grievous injuries.
At the hearing, Tanveer Ahmed, counsel for the petitioner submitted that his name was neither there in the FIR in question, nor in the main charge sheet. It also wasn’t there in the 3 supplementary ones filed thereafter. However, his name found mention in the fourth supplementary chargesheet where the petitioner is allegedly seen in the CCTV footage pelting stones. He was granted bail in November 2020 in FIR No. 136/2020 where it was alleged that the petitioner was carrying a ‘danda’ as seen in CCTV footage but when the video was played before the court, he was seen empty handed.
It was also contended that co-accused has been granted bail. Further, the prosecution has relied upon testimony of Head Constable Mukesh, whose statement has already been rejected by the trial court in November 2020.
The prosecution argued that petitioner is a resident of Chand Bagh and as per his call detail records, he was present at Main Wazirabad Road, Chand Bagh where the incident took place. Further, he actively took part in the riots has been identified by Constable Mukesh. The prosecutor played the CCTV footage as also a video shot by one Vishal Choudhary to prove that petitioner was a part of the mob and involved in pelting stones. The prosecution also alleged that the petitioner burnt his clothes in order to destroy evidence.
The court, after viewing the video clips, observed that there is no iota of doubt that petitioner was a part of mob, and in one clip he is empty handed while in another clip he can be seen pelting stones at the police. The petitioner’s counsel contended that identification of petitioner is different in the CCTV footage played before this Court and the one before the trial court, which had granted bail to him in November 2020, as mentioned above.
The court, thus, took notice of the fact that the identification of petitioner by the prosecution before the trial court and this court is at variance. This means that the clip used before the trial court in November 2020 to identify the petitioner is different from the clip being played before the high court at present to oppose the petitioner’s bail.
“In one of the videos played before this Court, a person (allegedly the petitioner) ‘showing his back’ and walking with the mob is shown, whereas in another clipping, the distance between the camera and person is such that the face and features cannot be seen clearly to identify correctly as to who the person is,” the court noted
The court observed that the fourth chargesheet has been filed and that trial will take substantial time, and hence in view of facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner cannot be made to languish behind bars for an indefinite period of time.
The court, without commenting on the merits of the case, directed that the petitioner be released on bail forthwith upon his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.20,000/- with one surety in the like amount and on the condition that the petitioner shall not directly or indirectly influence any witness and shall appear before the trial court as and when directed.
The judgement may be read here: