February 21, 2021

HC grants bail to man held in Delhi riots case

HC grants bail to man held in Delhi riots case

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a man, who was arrested in March last year in connection with a north-east Delhi riots case, noting that there was “no CCTV footage or viral video to implicate” him in the case.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait took into consideration that there are three public witnesses in this case and none of them have named the accused, Modh Danish, formally in their respective statements.

As per the police, on February 24 last year, a police team deployed at an anti-CAA protest site at Chandbagh was brutally attacked without provocation, in which Head Constable Ratanlal was shot dead while several policemen, including DCP Amit Sharma were injured.

It is police’s case that Danish actively participated in the riots and as a part of unlawful assembly, he too is responsible for the death of the police officer.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for Delhi Police, argued that Danish is a resident of Loni, Ghaziabad. But on February 23 and 24, at the time of the incident, his mobile location located him at Chandbagh.

The ASG also stated that Danish was actively involved in riots and was identified by the witnesses, Constable Sunil and Constable Gyan of police station Dayalpur.

A cab driver by profession, Danish, in his defence, stated that he had visited his maternal aunt, elder sister and maternal uncle who reside in Chandbagh on February 23.

He said that on February 23, things were as usual calm and normal. It was only on February 24 that things started worsening. His late mother, who was alive then, called and asked him to stay at maternal aunt’s/elder sister’s place till things got normal and return home in Loni thereafter.

Danish said that on February 25 around 6 a.m. in the morning, he returned to his residence in Loni. Later on March 10, 2020, he was apprehended by Nandnagri police and was taken by Crime Branch, Delhi Police.

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, representing Danish, submitted that his client is educated only till Class 10.

“He was made to sign some plain papers which later found to be disclosure statements attributed to him, Mr Khurshid said, adding that the “alleged statements appear to be fabricated and copied, hence, inadmissible as per law”.

Justice Kait noted that the initial statements by beat Constable Gyan and Constable Sunil on February 27, 2020, do not name Danish. “It is much later, after a span of 12 days, in their supplementary statement dated March 10, 2020, the name of petitioner appears,” the High Court said.

“It seems from the call detail records of the petitioner that on the date of incident, i.e. February 24, 2020, he was not even in the vicinity of the violence-affected area, i.e. Main Wazirabad Road,” the High Court remarked.

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