Courts Update Delhi Riots 2020: Delhi High Court grants bail to...

Delhi Riots 2020: Delhi High Court grants bail to Mohammad Salim Khan in connection with the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal

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New Delhi Sept 27(ILNS): The Delhi High Court, today, granted bail to Mohammad Salim Khan, in connection with the murder of Head Constable Ratan Lal, and denied the bail application of the second accused Mohammad Ibrahim.

A Single Bench comprised of Justice Subramonium Prasad allowed the bail Application of Mohd Saleem Khan while rejecting bail to Mohd Ibrahim.

The Court had earlier granted bail to Shanawaz and Mohd Ayyub while dismissing the pleas of Sadiq and Irshad Ali.

The Court had reserved its order in 11 bail applications filed by different accused persons in the FIR, with today’s decision, orders have been passed in all 11 of them.

In this matter, the FIR was registered on the statement of a Constable stating that on February 24, last year, he was on the law and order arrangement duty with other staff members at Chand Bagh area.

It is stated that around 1 PM protesters carrying danda, lathies, baseball bats, iron rods and stones started gathering at the main Wazirabad road and did not pay heed to the directions of senior officers thereby became violent.

It is further stated that after repeated warnings to the protestors, mild force and gas shells were used to disperse the crowd. According to the Constable, violent protesters started beating people as well as police personnel, due to which he himself sustained injury on his right elbow and hand.

It is also stated that the protestors attacked DCP Shahdara, ACP Gokulpuri, and Head Constable Rattan Lal due to which they fell on the road and sustained grievous injuries. All the injured persons were taken to hospital, where it was found that HC Rattan Lal had already died due to injuries sustained and DCP Shahdara was unconscious and had sustained head injuries

Earlier, the Court had granted bail to accused persons Mohd Arif, Furkan, Shadab Ahmed, Suvaleen and Tabassum who were accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

The Court had reserved the order on August 16, After hearing each accused and the prosecution at length.

The Court observed while granting bail to co-accused persons that the applicability of Section 149 IPC, specifically read with Section 302, cannot be done on the basis of vague evidence and general allegations. When there is a crowd involved, at the juncture of grant or denial of bail, the Court must hesitate before arriving at the conclusion that every member of the unlawful assembly inhabits a common intention to accomplish the unlawful common object.

Reiterating the legal doctrine the court said that, “Bail attempts to bridge the gap between the personal liberty of an accused and ensuring social security remains intact. It is the intricate balance between securing the personal liberty of an individual and ensuring that this liberty does not lead to an eventual disturbance of public order. It is egregious and against the principles enshrined in our Constitution to allow an accused to remain languishing behind bars during the pendency of the trial.

Therefore, the Court, while deciding an application for grant of bail, must traverse this intricate path very carefully and thus take multiple factors into consideration before arriving at a reasoned order whereby it grants or rejects bail”.

“It is the Constitutional duty of the Court to ensure that there is no arbitrary deprivation of personal liberty in the face of excess of State power. Bail is the rule and jail is the exception, and Courts must exercise their jurisdiction to uphold the tenets of personal liberty,  subject to rightful regulation of the same by validly enacted legislation.

The Supreme Court has time and again held that Courts need to be alive to both ends of the spectrum, i.e. the duty of the Courts to ensure proper enforcement of criminal law, and the duty of the Courts to ensure that the law does not become a tool for targeted harassment”, the Court added./ILNS/AP/SNG

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