Granting bail to a man accused in the February 2020 Delhi violence, the Delhi High Court observed that witnesses appeared to have been planted in the case. The accused was allegedly present at the scene when people had gathered on former Aam Aadmi Party councilor Tahir Hussain’s roof and allegedly threw petrol bombs on homes of Hindu community families.
The order delivered October 7 noted that the prosecution was against granting bail to one Irshad Ahmed, “Learned APP has opposed the present petition by stating that on 25.02.2020, around 100 people were standing on the terrace of the house of co-accused Tahir Hussain (main accused) and they were throwing petrol bombs on the house of Hindu community. Petitioner’s name was disclosed by co-accused Tahir Hussain. Petitioner herein is an associate of the said accused.” The prosecution had also submitted that Ahmed was placed on the scene of crime by an eye-witness, “As per the statement of eye-witness, namely, Rohit, has confirmed petitioner’s role and identification. Further, mobile phone location of the petitioner has ascertained his presence at the spot.”
However, when it comes to the witnesses who place Ahmed at the crime scene the court observes, “It is not in dispute that there is no electronic evidence such as CCTV footage or photos to implicate the petitioner in the present case. As per the statement of Constable Pawan and Constable Ankit (both are eye witnesses and were present at the spot), they had identified the petitioner and other co-accused. However, they have not made any complaint on the date of incident, i.e. 25.02.2020, whereas the FIR was lodged on 28.02.2020. Thus, the said witnesses seem to be planted one.”
This is significant in light of various fact-finding reports by civil society groups and activists that have made serious allegations of police complicity in the riots. The trial in the case is yet to commence. However, the court warned, “The Trial Court shall not get influenced by the observation made by this Court while passing the order.”
The court granted Ahmed bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000/- and one surety of in the like amount. The entire order may be read here:
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