Court refuses police custody of school owner in 2nd case

New Delhi: A trial court here refused to grant police custody of Rajdhani School owner Faisal Farooq on Thursday, after noting that the facts of the case Delhi Police had rearrested him in were practically identical to the previous case, even as Farooq's lawyer argued that cops had arrested him from jail in the second case just to buy time so that they could seek cancellation of bail granted to his client in the earlier case.

Furthermore, the court pointed out the delay in the police's action in the second case and questioned why they applied for police custody four months after the case was registered, especially given that the facts of the case were known by the investigating officer from the first day of the incident.

Earlier this week, Farooq was granted bail in the first case of alleged rioting and burning down a school building in the North East Delhi riots of February, after the court noted that the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police did not have any material facts to warrant his continued detention. Moreover, the court had also pointed out that no material evidence was shown to prove Farooq's involvement with groups like Pinjra Tod and Popular Front of India, as alleged by police.

However, the day after Farooq was granted bail, the Delhi Police moved an application to cancel it before the Delhi High Court, which then stayed his release, provided he had not already been freed. While the high court has now sought Farooq's response on Delhi Police's plea, it came to light that cops had re-arrested him in a separate case before filing the bail cancellation plea in the high court.

Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Parihar sent Farooq to judicial custody in the second case related to rioting, saying the allegations and the facts of both the FIRs were similar. The date of occurrence of both the incidents in which he was arrested was similar and thus the ingredient of the alleged offence in both the FIRs was more or less similar, the court said in its June 24 order. "Considering overall facts and circumstance of the case and I do not consider it a fit case for grant of police custody remand of accused," the judge said.

Advocate R K Kocchar, appearing for Farooq, told the court that the application seeking police custody was an abuse of process of law. He further claimed that Farooq was formally arrested in the case on June 22 only to defeat the purpose of bail granted to him on June 20.

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