NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has dismissed the bail application of a man in the case related to head constable Ratan Lal’s murder during the February riots in north east Delhi, saying that prima facie everything was being done under a well-hatched conspiracy.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissed the bail plea of Mohd Arif and said the common object of the conspiracy was to cause blockade of the main Wazirabad Road and if resisted by the police, then to go to any extent to liquidate them by use of force.
During the hearing held through video conferencing, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, submitted that digital identification of Arif has been made at the scene of crime in the video of the alleged eye witness Vishal Chaudhary.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Arif, took a strong exception to the digital identification on the ground that it was impermissible in law after the filing of chargesheet.
To this, Prasad emphasized that no new material has been added in the matter, but with the use of technology only the process of identification has been changed.
The court said in its order passed on September 30, “In my prima facie view, there is no bar in investigating agency employing technical tools to conduct further investigation.”
“The applicant (Arif) is clearly visible in CCTV footage of GNCT Camera…at 12.06.35 hours on February 24, 2020, while wearing white shirt and black lower, carrying a ‘stick’ in his hands and also seen damaging the CCTV camera. The photographs of the applicant have also been captured by video footage.
“The CDR (Call Detail Record) location of the mobile phone of applicant bearing number has been found to be at the scene of crime on the date of incident; it also came to fore during the course of investigation that he was in touch with the other accused persons in the matter.” it said.
The court further said that from the statements of a number of witnesses recorded in the matter as well as perusal of the relevant CCTV footages, it was prima facie apparent that on February 24, from at around 11.00 am onwards there was some kind of buzz around and the persons of a particular community were clearly seen charged up.
“They were making very aggressive movements towards the scene of crime, having weapons in their hands. Several persons can be seen exhorting the crowd in aggressive overtones. It is also evident that they formed a mob which proceeded towards the scene of crime, may be under some plan or incitement.
“The video of witness Vishal Chaudhary depicts a very horrendous scene, wherein the aforesaid mobilized mob can be seen in large number from Chand Bagh Mazaar till near Khajuri Chowk and at around 1.00 PM when senior police officers as well as other police officials were trying to control the protestors not to block the main Wazirabad Road, then the mob became violent,” it said.
It further said it was clearly evident that the protestors, organizers, motivated persons in the mob and certain unscrupulous elements had surrounded the scene of crime and they appeared to be fully equipped with rioting material like stones, sticks, sharp-edged weapons and other sort of raw weapons.
“Even burqa-clad women are clearly seen attacking the police party with sticks and other material in their hands and they clearly appeared to be charged up… All this prima facie indicates that everything was being done under a well-hatched conspiracy, the common object whereof was to cause blockade of the main Wazirabad Road and if resisted by the police, then to go to any extent to liquidate them by use of force,” the court said.
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 the case is at “pre-cognizance/pre-committal stage”.
During the hearing, Pracha claimed that Arif has been wrongly and maliciously implicated in the matter by the investigating agency just because he belongs to a particular community.
Pracha further alleged that the investigation in the matter has not been conducted in an impartial and fair manner and persons belonging to a particular community have been falsely roped in by the investigating agency.
There was no material on record which could show the nexus of Arif with either the other accused persons or so called conspirators/protestors/organizers/rioters, Arif’s counsel argued.
Prasad opposed the bail plea saying the resident of Chand Bagh area, who was present at the protest site during riots on February 24.
The public prosecutor further played CCTV footage and claimed that Arif can be seen looking at it in a suspicious manner after hiding a stick in a locked house.
He further submitted that the CCTV footage taken into possession in the matter was being analyzed and further new facts were getting surfaced.
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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