The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a man facing prosecution in a 2020 North East Delhi riots case in which the associates of former AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain allegedly looted valuables worth over Rs 20 lakh from a godown.
While dismissing the bail plea, the high court considered that the eyewitnesses have given account of the specific role played by accused Shoaib Alam and their claim about facing threats.
It said in accordance with the settled law for grant of bail, the court is expected to take into account the allegations levelled against the accused as well as the seriousness of the offence committed.
“Considering the fact that the eye witnesses have given account of the specific role played by the present applicant (Alam) and the fact that threats are being extended in this case to the witnesses, this court does not find it a fit case for grant of bail, at this stage, when the witnesses are yet to be examined before the trial court.
“This court also takes note of the fact that after assessment of threat to the witness, the concerned authorities have provided protection to witness, for threat being real. Accordingly, the present application stands dismissed,” Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said in the order passed on March 1.
The high court clarified that the observations made by it are only for the purpose of deciding this application and shall have no bearing on the merits of the case during the trial.
An FIR was lodged on February 27, 2020 on a complaint by a man named Karan who alleged that on February 25, 2020 around 40-50 associates of Tahir Hussain had looted his godown in Khajuri Khas area in North East Delhi.
It was alleged that valuable property of the complainant had been stolen and important documents including certificates of e-rickshaw and spare parts had been burnt due to which he suffered a loss of about Rs 25-30 lakh.
After registration of the FIR, investigation had been carried out by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch.
During the investigation, it had been revealed that the place where the incident occurred was situated at a distance of about 50-60 meters from a building which was owned by co-accused Tahir Hussain and which had been used by rioters/ miscreants including Alam for throwing bricks, stones, petrol and acid bombs.
The high court said it was of the opinion that in the case the prosecution has placed on record statements of two eyewitnesses who had specifically stated that Alam was involved in the present incident and instigated the mob on communal lines.
The beat officers of the area categorically named and assigned specific role to the accused, it noted.
Communal clashes had broken out in North East Delhi on February 24, 2020 between the supporters and opponents of the new citizenship law. The violence spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and scores injured.
-With PTI Input