The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to a 21-year-old Danish who was arrested in connection with the Delhi riots on the basis of a viral video which allegedly showed him as being present as a bystander at a place where a mob had gathered.
Referring to the chargesheet, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed there was no Call Detail Record (CDR) establishing that Danish had moved from his residence to the place of the incident at 7 pm or 1 am. Justice Kait also took note of the fact that as per the chargesheet no evidence could be recovered against the rioter.
Danish has been in jail for five months.
He was arrested on March 8 on the basis of two FIRs. The first FIR bearing no. 119 of 2020 was registered for offences under Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object),427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 379 (Punishment for theft) and 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Second FIR bearing no.131 of 2020 was registered for offences under Sections 147, 148, 149 which were also the part of the first FIR. In addition, the second FIR also contains offences relating to Sections 458 (Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night after preparation for hurt, assault, or wrongful restraint) and 380 (Theft in dwelling house, etc.) of the IPC.
Senior advocate Salman Khurshid who appeared for Danish, submitted that the alleged incident took place on February 24 at 7 pm initially and thereafter around 1 am, whereas the FIR was registered on March 2 i.e. much later than the occurrence. Khursheed added that the accused was not named in the FIR.
Khurshid assisted by advocates Bilal Anwar Khan and Anshu Kapoor also contended that there was no disclosure about who had named the petitioner (Danish) nor was there any recovery from him. There was no CCTV/video footage of the incident indicating his involvement either, he added.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Naresh Kumar Gaur for the Delhi Police did not dispute the above submissions of the accused, but he said that the accused himself had disclosed in his disclosure statement that he was involved in the riots and committed the offences as alleged in the present FIRs.
The contention of the Delhi Police did not find favour with the Court, which said that the accused petitioner was arrested on March 8 and had been in judicial custody since March 9. He, therefore, deserved to be enlarged on bail.
Danish was arrested on the basis of one allegedly viral video on social media. His petition said that the source of the viral video was unknown and the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) results were awaited.