Northeast Delhi violence: Delhi HC grants bail to 5 accused in head constable Ratan Lal murder case

New Delhi [India], September 3 : The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to five people accused in First Information Reports (FIRs) related to murder case of head constable Ratan Lal as well as causing injuries to a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) during the violence that erupted in northeast Delhi in February 2020.
Justice Subramoniam Prasad today while passing the order said that “the court is of the opinion that the petitioners cannot be made to languish behind bars for a longer period of time and that the veracity of the allegations levelled against them can be tested during trial.” The Delhi High Court granted bail to five accused named Furkan, Mohd Arif, Shadab Ahmed, Suvaleen and Tabassum on a personal bond of Rs 35,000 each with one surety and directed them not to leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) of Delhi without prior permission of the court.
Court noted that the petitioner has been in Judicial Custody for long. The fourth charge sheet has already been filed, and trial in the matter is likely to take a long time. This court is of the opinion that it would not be prudent to keep the petitioner behind bars for an undefined period of time at this stage. The petitioner has roots in society, and, therefore, there is no danger of him absconding and fleeing, court said.
Court also observed that it is the Constitutional duty of the Court to ensure that there is no arbitrary deprivation of personal liberty in the face of excess of State power. Bail is the rule and jail is the exception, and Courts must exercise their jurisdiction to uphold the tenets of personal liberty, subject to rightful regulation of the same by validly enacted legislation. The Supreme Court has time and again held that Courts need to be alive to both ends of the spectrum, i.e. the duty of the Courts to ensure proper enforcement of criminal law, and the duty of the Courts to ensure that the law does not become a tool for targeted harassment.
Earlier, prosecution lawyers argued that this is an unfortunate case of brutal murder of head constable Rattan Lal during the recent communal riots, in which DCP Shahdara Amit Sharma, IPS Anuj Kumar, ACP Gokalpuri and 51 other policemen had also suffered severe injuries at the hands of rioters.
Prosecutors further argued that the accused used to share a stage with the other protestors and instigate the gathering against the government of India, which ultimately led to the death of more than 50 innocent persons in northeast Delhi.
Whereas, Advocate defence lawyers argued that the accused has been falsely implicated in the matter by the investigating agency and has nothing to do with the alleged incident.
According to the charge sheet, the public witnesses and the local beat staff have categorically mentioned in their statements about the specific role of accused persons that they were involved along with the main organisers of the protest and were fully involved in inciting people for rioting.
At least 53 people lost their lives and hundreds of others were injured in the violence between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the northeast area of the national capital in February this year.

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