Riots accused given bail three times due to lack of evidence
A Delhi court has granted bail to a man three times in three separate FIRs related to the arson of three floors of a building during the north-east Delhi riots in February. The order came after the police failed to put on record CCTV camera footage they claimed was evidence as part of the supplementary charge sheet despite repeated orders by the judge.
The judge, on the third instance on July 28, while granting bail to Kasim Ali due to the absence of evidence in the form of the CCTV camera footage, also directed that the copy of the order be sent to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Special Commissioner (Crime) for necessary action.
Ali was arrested for rioting and the arson of various houses, including three floors of a building in the Jaffarabad area, on February 24 during the riots. On the basis of CCTV camera footage, Ali was first arrested when FIR-96/2020 was registered. The police said that during interrogation, he signed a disclosure statement regarding the crime following which three separate FIRs were registered (one for each floor) and he was arrested. (Three FIRS—64/2020, 121/2020 and 127/2020). In two FIRS—64/2020 and 127/2020—he was granted bail on July 22 due to the police’s failure to put the CCTV camera footage on record.
“Since it is claimed that there exists CCTV camera footage, which is in the possession of the police but has not been inadvertently filed in the present case for the last several months despite allowing of previous bail application in which similar observation was made by the court with the same accused in relation to the third and fourth floors of the property…hence, let the copy of this order be sent to the concerned DCP and Special Commissioner (Crime) for their information and necessary action [sic],” the court stated in its order dated July 28.
Appearing for Ali, his counsel contended that his client was falsely implicated in the case and the evidence was planted.
Opposing the bail application earlier, the police had said that the allegations against Ali were serious. They said that he admitted his crime in one of the FIRs registered in the arson of an adjacent property (FIR –96/2020).
The Special Public Prosecutor submitted earlier that under FIR-96/2020, there was evidence in the form of CCTV camera footage, which should be common for two of the properties Ali damaged. He, however, said that the footage had not been filed inadvertently and they will file a supplementary charge sheet later on.
The court said that as on date, the footage was not on record and the charge sheet in the present case was filed on May 16. It said that in such circumstances, Ali was granted bail on a personal bond of ₹40,000 and a surety of like amount.
According to a complaint by one Naved, that on February 24 around 4pm, he and his family left his house fearing for their safety. The next day around 11am, his neighbours informed him that rioters broke into his house, looted his possessions and set his house on fire.
When he returned home, he found that the mob had looted cash of ₹1,50,000, gold jewellery weighing 450 grams, 1½ kilogram of silver ornaments, his two Apple mobile phones and stridhan (his wife and his brother’s property) worth ₹15,00,000, and burnt the house down.
Communal riots had broken in February this year in north-east Delhi, claiming 53 lives and leaving over 400 injured.