NEW DELHI: A court here has granted bail to a man in four separate cases related to February's communal violence in northeast Delhi, saying there were no independent witnesses, CCTV footage or video-recording to show his involvement in rioting and chanting slogans against a community.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted the relief to Neeraj on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with a surety in each of the cases of alleged torching, looting and vandalising shops in the Bhajanpura area during the riots.
The court, in its order passed on Monday, said Neeraj's identification as an accused in the cases by beat constables was doubtful since it was done after the lapse of a considerable time.
It further said Neeraj cannot be made to languish in jail in the matters merely on account of the fact that he was a "bad character" of the area.
"There is nothing on record such as independent witnesses, CCTV footage or video-recording to show the presence of the applicant at the spot or that he was involved in rioting and chanting slogans against the other community.
"Furthermore, no recovery of any sort has been effected from the applicant and his arrest has been effected in all the matters either merely on the basis of the disclosure statement of co-accused Manish or his own disclosure statement," the judge said.
The court directed the accused not to tamper with evidence, to maintain peace and harmony in his locality and install the "Aarogya Setu" application on his mobile phone.
During the hearing held through video-conferencing, the counsel of the accused claimed that his client was falsely implicated in the cases while pointing out that he was in judicial custody since April.
He further argued that there was an "unexplained delay" in the registration of the FIRs and there was no electronic evidence available against his client.
Special Public Prosecutor Naresh Kumar Gaur, appearing for the police, opposed the bail pleas, saying the accused was allegedly involved in 10 cases of rioting and being a previous convict, he was a "bad character" of the area.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.
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