New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to ‘United Against Hate’ activist Khalid Saifi in a case related to the February riots in northeast Delhi.
“In my humble opinion, chargesheeting the applicant in this case on the basis of such an insignificant material is total non-application of mind by the police which goes to the extent of vindictiveness”, observed Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma Court.
The observation was made while referring to the oral evidence relied on by the Delhi police to allege that he was part of conspiracy behind Delhi riots.
The witness had told the police that he had seen Saifi dropping Tahir Hussain(who is accused of murder of IB officer Ankit Sharma) outside a building on February 27 and thereafter had seen Saifi and Umar Khalid going into the building.
In this regard, the judge observed :
“The sole evidence of this so called conspiracy is a statement of PW Rahul Kasana, wherein he stated on 27.09.2020 that he was standing outside a building in the area of Shaheen Bagh, where he had dropped principal accused Tahir Hussain and thereafter he saw applicant and Umar Khalid going into the same building. I fail to understand from the aforesaid statement how a lofty claim of conspiracy can be inferred”.
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The court noted that if the principal accused, Tahir Hussain, was moved or actuated by Saifi in the meeting, then Saifi should have been made co-accused in ten other cases like Hussain, “which is not the case”.
The court said it has nowhere been the case of the prosecution that Saifi was physically present at the scene of crime on the day of the incident and he has not been seen in any CCTV footage/viral videos of the matter.
The applicant (Saifi) has merely been roped in the matter on the basis of his own disclosure statement and fourth disclosure statement of co-accused Tahir Hussain. Even no recovery of any sort has been effected from the applicant pursuant to his disclosure statement, it said.
The Court further observed that the investigation in the matter is complete and chargesheet has already been filed.
“The trial in the matter is likely to take long time. The applicant 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”, said the Court.
Saifi was arrested on February 26 in a case registered at Jagatpuri police station in relation to Delhi riots. Later, on March 21, he was arrested in FIR No. 59/2020 which is registered by the Delhi Police Special Cell for larger conspiracy behind Delhi riots.
It was on June 6 that he was arrested in the FIR relating to the present case (FIR No.101/202 of Khajuri Khas Police Station).
The said FIR was for offences relating to unlawful assembly, rioting, destruction of public and private properties at Khajuri Khas(offences under Sections109/114/147/148/149/153A/186/212/353/395/427/435/436/452/454/505/34/120-B IPC r/w Sections 3/4 PDPP Act & Sections 25/27 Arms Act).
The court granted him bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount.
The applicant/accused Khalid Saifi was represented by Ld. Sr. Adv. Ms. Rebecca John along with Advs. Shri Bhavook Chauhan, Shri Rajat Kumar, Shri Harsh Bora, Ms. Pravita Kashyap, Shri Tushar Yadav and Shri Syed Atif.
Ld. Special PP Shri Manoj Chaudhary appeared for the State along with IO, Inspector Sunil Kumar and ACP Pankaj.