A Delhi court has dismissed an interim bail plea of Shahrukh Pathan, whose picture showing him pointing a gun at an unarmed Delhi Police head constable during the communal riots, went viral on social media. Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said going by Pathan's conduct and the manner in which he had absconded after the incident and was arrested later on, suggested he was a flight risk.
"In the instant case, when the clashes happened on February 24, 2020 at near Jafrabad metro station, Delhi, and heavy stone pelting and firing occurred, as per prosecution, the applicant/accused Shahrukh Pathan was caught brandishing a pistol with the temerity of firing and pointing it at police personnel Head Constable Deepak Dahiya, who was deputed on that day for law and order arrangements.
The accused is alleged to have participated in the riots and has been duly identified Thus, the gravity in the present case is sufficient to deny any benefit of interim bail to the accused, the court said in its order passed on November 9.
Further, the court said "going by the conduct of the accused and the manner in which he absconded and was arrested later on, suggests that he is a flight risk." Pathan had sought interim bail for taking care of his mother who has been asked to undergo surgical operation after sustaining injuries on her back and spinal cord. He had also sought interim relief saying his presence was required to attend to his father who needed to undergo surgery on his right knee.
The court said the reply filed by the police suggested there was no emergency for the surgery of the right knee of his father. It further said Pathan's father and the relatives can take care of his mother at this time.
It noted that Pathan's father was earlier convicted in a case related to possession of narcotics. During the hearing, advocate Sunil Mehta, appearing for the accused, argued that he was initially trying to pacify the people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and when attacked with heavy stones, he rushed to seek shelter. The counsel said that after getting no place to hide, Pathan allegedly shot fire in self defence by an armed weapon which was given by some unknown person from the public.
Special Public Prosecutor Devender Kumar Bhatia, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea saying Pathan had allegedly fired at Dahiya with an intention to kill him aiming at his head. The public prosecutor further argued that the accused had also voluntarily disclosed about his involvement in the case and his conduct of allegedly firing on a police official in uniform in full public view established his brazen and a desperate criminal bent of mind.
Bhatia also claimed that he had tried to mislead the police during investigation of the case. 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.