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Delhi Riots: HC Dismisses Bail Plea of Accused Who Pointed Gun at Policeman

Shahrukh Pathan pointing a pistol at Delhi Police head constable

Shahrukh Pathan pointing a pistol at Delhi Police head constable

Shahrukh Pathan, 24, whose picture showing him pointing a pistol at unarmed Delhi Police head constable Deepak Dahiya during the communal riots in February last year went viral on social media

The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed bail plea of the accused who allegedly pointed a pistol at a police head constable during the communal violence in the north-east area here in February last year, saying the video clips have shaken the court’s conscience that how could he take law and order in his hands. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said whether or not accused Shahrukh Pathan had the intention to kill the complainant police official or any person present in the public with his open air pistol shots, it is hard to believe that he had no knowledge that his act may harm anyone present at the spot.

Moreover, it is not the case of petitioner (Pathan) that he was not involved in the alleged incident. In the opinion of this court, the trial court has rightly held that the petitioner is alleged to have participated in riots and his picture speaks a volume about his involvement, the high court said. The judge said, Keeping in mind the gravity of offence committed by the petitioner as also the facts of the present case, I am not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner. The petition is accordingly dismissed while refraining to comment upon the merits of the prosecution case.

Pathan, 24, whose picture showing him pointing a pistol at unarmed Delhi Police head constable Deepak Dahiya during the communal riots in February last year went viral on social media, was arrested on March 3, 2020 from Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, is presently lodged in jail here. Police had registered a case against him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act.

The high court said the allegations levelled against Pathan are that in the unfortunate incident of riots which occurred on February 24 last year at the road between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk in north east Delhi amongst people of different communities, he was a party to the huge crowd which had unauthorisedly gathered and pelted stones, petrol bombs and fired gun/pistol shots. The role attributed to the petitioner is not confined to participation in the mob of rioters but of heading the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots. The video clipping and pictures played before this court have shaken the conscience of this court how petitioner could take law and order in his hands, it said.

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The court also took a serious view to some contents mentioned in the petition, which it said are not worth disclosing. Highly derogatory and serious allegations have been made against the Government of India, ministers and judge of this court, which is deprecated and the Bar is suggested to not make such claims until and unless supported with factual and material evidence in a particular case, Justice Kait said.

Pathan sought bail on the ground that the alleged incident had taken place on February 24, 2020 and the FIR was registered on February 26 last year, so, there is 50 hours delay in lodging of the case. The counsel claimed that Pathan has been made a scapegoat or poster boy of the riots and the complainant policeman has become the symbol of bravery before the media persons, which is against the fundamental rights of the accused.

Special Public Prosecutors Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair, representing the Delhi Police, had submitted that Pathan had absconded since the day of alleged incident and he could be intercepted only on March 3, 2020 and at his instance, the illegal weapon used by him on February 24 last year with two live cartridges and the shirt worn by him at the time of incident, were recovered from his house. The police had said that after opening fire, he kept the pistol at home and fled from the city in a car.

In the viral video, Pathan, a resident of northeast Delhi’s Ghonda, could be seen pointing his pistol at the policeman on the Jaffrabad-Maujpur road on February 24 last year. Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and scores injured.

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first published:April 15, 2021, 15:06 IST