A Delhi court has granted bail to an accused in a case related to north east Delhi riots in February, saying silence of the witnesses about the incident for two weeks casts "serious doubt" on their credibility.
The court noted that witnesses recorded their statements about incident with the police two weeks later.
It further said though two police constables were eyewitnesses and had identified the accused resorting to rioting in the case, they did not make any complaint on the date of the incident or reported it to their seniors.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted bail to Irshad Ahmed on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in the case wherein a shop was looted and vandalised by the riotous mob on February 25 in Dayalpur area due to which complainant Zeeshan incurred a loss of about Rs 20 lakh.
The court said in its order passed on September 8, that Ahmed has also not been named in the FIR and there were no specific allegations against him in the case.
"In the present matter, as per the statements of Constable Vikrant and Constable Pawan (both are eye witnesses and were present at the scene of crime on the date of incident), they had identified the applicant (Ahmed) and other co-accused persons resorting to rioting. However, they neither made any complaint on the date of incident, that is February 25, 2020 nor reported about the same to senior police officers.
"Till the recording of their statements under section 161 (examination by police) CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) by the IO (investigating officer) they remained completely silent about the incident and blew the lids only on March 6, 2020 when their statements were recorded by the IO. It casts a serious doubt on the credibility of witnesses," it said in its order.
It further noted that Ahmed has not been captured in any CCTV footage/viral video of the incident.
"The investigation in the matter is complete and a charge sheet has already been filed. The trial in the matter is likely to take a long time. The applicant (Ahmed) cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob have to be identified and arrested in the matter," the court said.
It directed him to not tamper with evidence, maintain peace and harmony in his locality and install "Aarogya Setu" app in his mobile phone.