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Riots: Delhi HC dismisses bail plea of accused in head constable’s murder

Justice Subramonium Prasad, while dismissing the bail application of Mohammad Ibrahim, said that even though he cannot be seen at the scene of crime, he clearly was a part of the mob for the sole reason that he had consciously travelled 1.6 km away from his neighbourhood with a sword which could only be used to incite violence and inflict damage during the riots
The high court also said that the systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras during the riots also confirms the existence of a pre-planned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city. (Picture for representation only/HC Archive)
Published on Sep 27, 2021 11:38 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday dismissed the bail application of an accused in the murder of head constable Rattan Lal during the northeast Delhi riots, saying that the riots did not take place in a spur of the moment and the conduct of the protesters showed that it was a calculated attempt to dislocate the functioning of the government as also to disrupt the normal life of the people in the city.

The court also said that the systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras also confirms the existence of a pre-planned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city.

“This is also evident from the fact that innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, dandas, bats etc. upon a hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officials,” the judge said in a 19-page order.

Justice Subramonium Prasad, while dismissing the bail application of Mohammad Ibrahim, said that even though he cannot be seen at the scene of crime, he clearly was a part of the mob for the sole reason that he had consciously travelled 1.6 km away from his neighbourhood with a sword which could only be used to incite violence and inflict damage.

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The court said personal liberty in a democratic polity is important, but it is to be categorically noted that individual liberty cannot be misused in a manner that threatens the very fabric of civilised society by attempting to destabilise it and cause hurt to other persons.

“In light of this, the footage of the petitioner with the sword is quite egregious, and is therefore sufficient to keep the petitioner in custody…In view of the facts and circumstances of the cases, without commenting on the merits of the matter, this court is of the opinion that the petitioner (Mohammad Ibrahim) is not to be granted bail,” the court said.

It said that Ibrahim has been clearly identified on multiple CCTV footages, carrying a sword and instigating the crowd and the clinching evidence that tilts this court towards prolonging his incarceration is that the weapon which is being carried by him is capable of causing grievous injuries and/or death, and is prima facie a dangerous weapon.

Meanwhile, Justice Prasad granted bail to Mohammad Saleem Khan in the same case, noting that there are no video recordings or audio recordings placed before him to verify the contention that he was embroiled in disseminating hate speech.

“This court is of the opinion that this footage in itself is not sufficient to prolong the incarceration of the petitioner,” the court said.

Communal riots had broken out in north east Delhi claiming 53 lives and leaving over 400 injured.

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