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No evidence, police witnesses not credible: Court grants bail to two

No evidence, police witnesses not credible: Court grants bail to two

New delhi: Holding that "prima facie there appears to be no evidence on record till date" of two accused persons being part of an unlawful assembly that had torched a truck in Chandbagh, a Delhi court on Friday granted them bail in connection with an incident of alleged vandalism during the north-east Delhi riots that broke out early last year.

The court also stated that prima facie, Section 436 of IPC (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.), cannot be invoked at this stage.

However, while observing this, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, in his order, also said that, " this stage, it cannot be held that the applicants were not part of any unlawful assembly which might have torched the truck in question…".

The case pertains to an FIR registered on March 3 last year by one Ashish Tiwari, wherein he alleged that on February 24 at about 11 am, his truck, which was parked on Main Wazirabad Road in Chandbagh, was reportedly vandalized and his sugarcane godown was set on fire by a "riotous mob", purportedly involving both the accused, Shebu Khan and Hamid.

The court noted that, "A perusal of the chargesheet reveals that except for Section 436 IPC, all sections invoked in the matter are bailable in nature and exclusively triable by the learned Magistrate ''. ASJ Yadav further went on to state that he found substance in the arguments of the counsel of both accused, Mohd. Javed, that for burning of a truck, Section 436 of IPC "cannot be prima facie invoked".

While granting bail to both the accused on a bail bond of Rs 10,000, the court said: "The investigation in the matter is complete. The chargesheet has already been filed. It is a matter of record that both the applicants have been arrested in the case in hand after about ten months of the incident in question".

The judge also observed that several of their co-accused persons have also been granted bail and the accused persons' case "prima facie seems to be on the same/identical footing".

As per the court order, ASJ Yadav also noted that both the applicants have neither been named in the FIR nor there are any specific allegations against them while questioning the timing of recording of statements of the Beat Constable on duty, who had reported the matter after close to 10 days after the incident. "This casts a serious doubt upon the credibility of aforesaid police witness," the court observed.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police, represented by Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, submitted that both the accused persons were visible in video footages carrying a "stick" in their hands and going towards the main Wazirabad Road.

In another case pertaining to Delhi riots, one Shahrukh was granted bail in a case of alleged vandalism in Gokalpuri after the court found that the CCTV footage presented by the prosecution pertains to the date previous to the actual incident.

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