A man sweeping the floor at the premises of the damaged Rajdhani School after communal violence in north-east Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Shiv Vihar, Karawal Nagar, in New Delhi on March 2, 2020.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
A man sweeping the floor at the premises of the damaged Rajdhani School after communal violence in north-east Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Shiv Vihar, Karawal Nagar, in New Delhi on March 2, 2020.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

Delhi riots: No investigation done, says court; gives Faisal Farooq bail

Farooq, however, will continue to stay in jail in connection to another matter in which the Delhi high court had dismissed his bail plea.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Richa Banka, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 06:35 AM IST

A Delhi court has granted bail to Faisal Farooq, the owner of Rajdhani Public School, arrested in connection to a northeast Delhi riots case in the Dayalpur area.

The court said that until June, virtually no investigation was done in the matter and after the accused was granted bail in another case, statements of witnesses were hurriedly recorded whose veracity will be tested at the time of the trial.

Farooq, however, will continue to stay in jail in connection to another matter in which the Delhi high court had dismissed his bail plea.

Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav granted bail to Farooq for a bail bond of 20,000 saying that though Farooq had been in jail for a considerable period, the police had hardly brought on record any material against him for criminal conspiracy.

Farooq was arrested in one case for his alleged involvement in burning and damaging the property of adjacent DRP Convent School during the riots. He was granted bail in that case in June, after which he was arrested in another case, the bail hearing of which was held December 11.

“It is, however, evident that till June 20, 2020, virtually no investigation had been done in the present matter and after the applicant (Farooq) was admitted to bail in the (first) case, that the statements were hurriedly recorded, the veracity whereof to be tested at the time of trial,” the court said in its order dated December 11.

The judge also said that “prima facie, sections 307 (attempt to murder), 153A (promoting enmity on the grounds of religion, caste, language etc) and 155 (liability of person for whose benefit riot is committed) IPC (Indian Penal Code) are not made out against the accused”.

During the hearing, Farooq’s counsel argued that he was falsely implicated in the matter. The lawyer said that Farooq had been in judicial custody since March 9 and he was arrested in the present case in June, but till July, sections 307, 153-A were not invoked in the matter by the police.

The sections were invoked in the charge sheet by the police, his counsel said, adding that nobody was injured in the case and prior to arresting him in the matter, his alleged involvement was never communicated to the court.

The court also noted that the prosecution has admitted that the accused was not seen in any CCTV camera footage and several cases of riots have been solved on account of the CCTV cameras installed at the school of the accused. It further said that with regard to the delay in recording the statements of witnesses and the veracity thereof, the public prosecutor had no answer.

“I refrain from commenting upon the manner in which the case diaries in the matter have been maintained, lest it may prejudice the case of the prosecution,” the judge said in his order.

Meanwhile, a city court has granted bail to a man in two separate cases related to the northeast Delhi riots, saying it did not appeal to the senses that the accused, being a Muslim, would rub shoulders in such a surcharged atmosphere with members of an “unlawful assembly”, which mainly consisted of persons from the Hindu community and would beat a Muslim boy to death.

Yadav granted bail to Aarif on the furnishing of a bail bond of 20,000 with one surety of like amount each in two cases related to the death of persons during the riots in Dayalpur area.

The court said admittedly the majority of the accused persons which formed the “unlawful assembly” in the matter were Hindus, whereas Aarif was a Muslim.

“It is very obfuscatory that a Muslim boy would become part of an ‘unlawful assembly’ which mostly consisted of members of the Hindu community, the common object whereof was to cause maximum damage to the property, life and limb(s) of the other community. So, prima facie, the applicant (Aarif) cannot be said to be part of ‘unlawful assembly’ or share ‘common object’ with them on the date of the incident.

“The case of applicant is totally on a different pedestal as compared with other co-accused Jitender whose bail application has already been dismissed by this court... because it does not appeal to senses that applicant being a Muslim would rub shoulders in such a surcharged atmosphere with the members of ‘unlawful assembly’, which mainly consisted of the persons of Hindu community and would beat a Muslim boy to death,” the court said in its order passed on December 11.

It also said that the eyewitnesses have not specifically spelt out the role of the accused in the matter and their statements prima facie appeared to be “general”.

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