NEW DELHI: A Delhi court Tuesday granted bails to two persons in a case related to the February riots in north east Delhi, saying they cannot be jailed for "infinity" merely on account that co-accused have to be identified and arrested.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted the relief to Javed and Gulfam on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount each.
Gulfam and Javed were arrested in May and July respectively, in the case in which one Bhai Sahab was grievously injured when he was allegedly attacked by a mob of rioters in Chand Bagh Pulia area during the communal violence.
The court said the duo have not been named in the FIR and there were no specific allegations against them.
"The investigation in the matter is complete and the charge sheet has already been filed. The trial in the matter is likely to take a long time. The applicant (Gulfam) cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter," it said in its similar but separate orders passed in the two bail applications.
It, however, clarified that anything stated in the order should not be construed as expressing any opinion on the final merits of the case, as it was at "pre cognizance/pre committal stage".
The court further directed them not to tamper with evidence and to install "Aarogya Setu" app on their mobile phones.
During the hearing held through video conferencing, advocate Anish Mohd, appearing for Gulfam, said he was a student of the Delhi University and there was no legally sustainable evidence against him in the case.
The counsel further argued that Gulfam was not seen in any of the CCTV footage of the riots in the area and there was an "unexplained delay" in lodging of the FIR in the case.
Javed's counsel argued that no useful purpose would be served by keeping him in jail as the investigation in the matter was complete and the trial would likely take a long time.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, opposed the bail pleas, saying it was one of the cases of riots near Chand Bagh Pulia, near the house of suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain, principal accused in many cases.
The public prosecutor further argued that on February 24, Bhai Sahab was allegedly caught hold by about 10 persons from another community, who gave beatings to him on account of the fact that he was from the other community.
Prasad said that there was a delay in registration of the FIR, but it was only because of the circumstances prevalent at that time.
"On the day of the incident, I am told about 18689 PCR calls were received on a single day; 3450 calls were from the Dayalpur area itself and then it took time to register the FIRs; the last FIR being registered on February 28. Pandemic COVID-19 further delayed the investigation," he told the court.
He further said that the injuries received by Bhai Sahab were "grievous" in nature and the investigation in the case was ongoing with many persons who were part of the "riotous mob" yet to be identified.
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.