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Delhi riots: State govt prosecutor hiding relevant info, cops tell SC

According to the Delhi Police, this was not an isolated incident and the same prosecutor had been acting in this manner in other cases too, wherein he had not intimated the special prosecutor or the police officials in the high court
A view of Supreme Court. (HT Archive)
Published on Jan 28, 2021 10:18 AM IST

Delhi Police on Wednesday alleged before the Supreme Court that a city government prosecutor had been deliberately hiding relevant information from the department about the February 2020 Delhi riots cases, resulting in the grant of bail to an accused.

Even as the top court sought to steer clear of controversy, a new chapter unfolded in the Delhi Police versus Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government saga before a bench led by justice Ashok Bhushan when the police claimed that one of the accused in the riots cases got out on bail because the prosecutor withheld the information about the case before the high court.

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Additional solicitor general (ASG) Vikramjeet Banerjee, appearing for the police, complained that the city government’s additional public prosecutor was well aware that the Central government had appointed special counsel to deal with the Delhi riots cases, but the former chose not to communicate this to the investigating agency when bail petition of the accused, one Iliyas, came up for hearing.

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Challenging the bail order of August 25, 2020, the ASG added: “It is a completely strange situation where the additional public prosecutor does not communicate it to the police officials attached with the high court and instead he makes a wrong statement that he had informed a deputy commissioner of police about it.”

He added: “My lords are well aware about the situations in Delhi. Here, the special prosecutor is not even informed and the high court also gives bail to the accused without issuing a notice to the special prosecutor.”

The petition, filed by the Delhi Police, had alleged that the city government’s prosecutor “withheld” the information from the investigating agency, appeared in the matter without authorisation and made statements which led to a propitious order for the accused in question.

According to the Delhi Police, this was not an isolated incident and the same prosecutor had been acting in this manner in other cases too wherein he had not intimated either the special prosecutor or the police officials present in the high court.

Banerjee also submitted that the two police officers have filed their personal affidavits to state that they were not informed about the bail hearing of Iliyas, who has been booked under charges of attempted murder, rioting and arson in a first information report lodged at Dayal Pur police station.

The ASG also called the high court order “strange” as it failed to take into account the charge sheet filed against the accused and the presence of several pieces incriminating evidence against him.

The bench, however, told Banerjee that the correct course of action for the Delhi Police would be to persuade the high court to review its order and seek a cancellation there.

“We have a limited scope here. We cannot entertain your petition here. You should persuade the high court to review its order. It shall also be open for you to seek cancellation of the bail,” the bench, which also included justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, told the ASG.

The order then recorded: “We do not find any ground to entertain this special leave petition. The special leave petition is dismissed. We, however, observe that it shall be open for the prosecution to make an application for cancellation of bail, if appropriate grounds are made out.”

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