Allahabad Sept 10 (ILNS) The Allahabad High Court on Thursday lashed out at the Uttar Pradesh Police for its Laxity in not submitting the CCTV Footage showing involvement of Shia leader Dr. Syed Kalbe Sibtain in the matter of nuisance and damage to public property during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh directed the Commissioner of Police, Lucknow to file his personal affidavit within two weeks as to why the CCTV Footage showing involvement of Shia leader Dr. Syed Kalbe Sibtain alias Noori booked for nuisance and damage to public property has not been submitted so far.
“looking to the seriousness of the matter, Commissioner of Police, Lucknow is directed to file his personal affidavit within two weeks from today explaining therein as to why in spite of letter(s) and telephonic conversation, proper/necessary assistance has not been given to the counsel appearing for the State in such a serious matter when the applicant is enjoying the interim protection in the anticipatory bail for such a long time”, the Court observed.
“Upon failure to do so, the Commissioner of Police, Lucknow shall personally remain present before the Court on the next date fixed. The Senior Registrar of this Court is directed to forward a copy of this order to the Chief Secretary, Government of U.P., Lucknow and all other officials concerned immediately for information and compliance.
The Court passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application u/s 438 CR.P.C. filed by Dr. Syed Kalbe Sibtain @ Noori.
The application was filed by Dr. Syed Kalbe Sibtain @ Noori.seeking anticipatory bail in FIR filed in the Police Station Thakurganj, District Lucknow, under various Sections of the Criminal Law and Prevention of Damages to Public Property Act & Explosive Substances Act.
The FIR had identified 27 persons as accused in the rioting and damaging public property and put their names in the First Information Report. About 2000 – 2100 persons could not be identified and are named as ‘unknown persons’ in the FIR. In the said FIR, all accused are charged for the offence of rioting and damaging the public property in Lucknow city.
The co-ordinate Bench of the Court had on July 13, 2021 granted interim protection to the accused – applicant, Dr. Syed Kalbe Sibtain @ Noori and given time to the police to put forward the CCTV footage which could show the involvement of the accused in rioting and damage to public property. The court also directed to give a copy of the CCTV footage to the Additional Government Advocate appearing for the State.
Thereafter, on July 15, 2021, the interim protection granted earlier was extended and the State was given time to file a detailed objection/counter affidavit and to procure the CCTV footage.
The Court said that, as per the directions of the coordinate Bench of this Court, the CCTV footage, which is required for proper adjudication and establishing the involvement of the accused, has not been made available yet and due to inaction on the part of the authority concerned, the applicant is enjoying the interim protection.
The Court further said that, when the matter is taken up for final hearing and when a specific query is put forth before the AGA as to why in spite of specific direction of the Court on different occasions and granting time for filing objection/counter affidavit and procuring the CCTV Footage, the same has not been made available/brought on record yet, he has expressed his inability to assist the Court in the absence of proper/complete instructions from the police department.
The AGA informed the Court that the concerned Circle Officer and Investigating Officer have also been telephonically apprised regarding the aforesaid direction(s) of the Court.
The allegations made against the applicant are very serious in nature and he has secured the interim protection in the absence of proper/complete instructions, CCTV Footage and other material(s) but still the concerned authorities are not providing sufficient /necessary assistance to the Government Counsel for disposal of the matter with promptness. The Court has taken into account the conduct of the police department very seriously.
“In view of the above and looking to the seriousness of the matter, Commissioner of Police, Lucknow is directed to file his personal affidavit within two weeks from today explaining therein as to why in spite of letter and telephonic conversation, proper/necessary assistance has not been given to the counsel appearing for the State in such a serious matter when the applicant is enjoying the interim protection in the anticipatory bail for such a long time”, the Court observed.
Interim order, if any, shall continue till the next date of hearing, the court said, and fixed the matter for September 27, 2021./ILNS/AP/SNG