2020 North-East Delhi Riots: HC Denies Bail To Accused As Prosecution Accuses Him Of Threatening Witnesses

2020 North-East Delhi Riots: HC Denies Bail To Accused As Prosecution Accuses Him Of Threatening Witnesses

The Delhi High Court recently has denied bail to an accused Shoaib Alam in a case related to the 2020 North-East Delhi riots. As per the FIR, Tahir Hussain’s associates stole valuable property from a godown in Khajuri Khas.

An accused Shoaib Alam was denied bail by Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma because two eyewitnesses testified about his specific role and threats were made against 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, following a threat assessment of the threat to the witness, the concerned authorities provided witness protection, despite the threat being real,” the Court stated.

Alam sought bail in an FIR registered under sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 427, 454, 395, 435, 436, 153A, 505, 120B and 34 of IPC, 1860.

A complaint was filed by one Karan alleging that 40 to 50 associates of Tahir Hussain looted his godown and burned various goods, causing him to lose between Rs. 25 and 30 lakhs. According to the prosecution, during the investigation, it was discovered that the location of the incident was about 50 to 60 metres away from a building owned by Tahir Hussain, which was allegedly used by the rioters, including Alam, for throwing bricks, stone pelting, pelting of petrol bombs, acid bombs, and so on. Two eyewitnesses were said to have specifically identified Alam.

Dismissing the bail plea, Justice Sharma stated that the prosecution had placed on record statements from two witnesses on April 3, 2020 and April 20, 2020, specifically stating that Alam was involved in the incident and had instigated the mob on communal lines.

The court also noted that the area’s beat officers specifically named and assigned specific roles to Alam and the acts he committed. It said that as per the settled law regarding grant of bail, the court is expected to consider the allegations levelled against the accused as well as the gravity of the offence committed when granting bail.

“Given that the eyewitnesses have given account of the specific role played by the present applicant and that threats are being extended to the witnesses in this case,” Justice Sharma said.

However, the court clarified that its observations are only for the purpose of deciding the bail plea and will have no bearing on the case’s merits during trial.

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About the Author: Isha Das