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Delhi HC grants bail to two men accused in Delhi riots case

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Soni Satti

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to two people accused of murder and criminal conspiracy in relation to the Northeast Delhi riots last year.

The accused Pradeep Rai and Aman Kashyap are in judicial custody.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait noted that the trial will take a long time and he stated, “Keeping in view that petitioner is in judicial custody since April 02, 2020, and trial of the case shall take substantial time, without commenting on the merit of the case, this court is of the opinion that the petitioners deserve bail,”

The two men are charged with sections 302(murder), section 147 (rioting), section 120B (criminal conspiracy), section 149 (unlawful assembly), section 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), and section 34 (common intent) under the Indian Penal Code.

Both the accused in their separate pleas requested the court for bail in connection with an FIR filed at Dayalpur police station in Delhi.

According to the accused’s Counsel, one of the eyewitnesses in the case is also an eyewitness in several FIRs filed at the Dayalpur police station in connection with the riots that occurred on February 25, last year.

The Counsel contended that the incident occurred in Gali nos. 10 and 3, with a distance of 500-700 metres between them, so he appeared to be a planted witness.

The High Court had asked the police to verify and check the witness statement. After examining, the police noted that the distance between Gali No.10 and Gali No.3 is approximately 350 metres.

Justice Kait stated, “In the prima facie opinion of this court, it is possible that the eyewitness, who in the present case is a resident of Gali No.8, might have seen the incident taking place in Gali No.10, which is close to his place but how the eyewitness could see the present the incident, which has taken place in Gali No.3, and away from Gali No.10 and Gali No.8, is doubtful,” 

While granting bail to the accused, the High Court directed the two accused to pay a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each and a surety bond of the same value.

Furthermore, the Court instructed the accused not to “directly or indirectly influence any prosecution witnesses.”