Delhi High Court: Suresh Kumar Kait, J., denied bail application of a person named Shahrukh that headed the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots during the riots that occurred in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk.

Petitioner sought bail under Sections 147/148/149/186/216/307/353 of Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 25/27 Arms Act.

It has been stated that on 26th February, 2020 a statement of Head Constable was recorded who was deputed to maintain law and order with other members of his team in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk, where a clash between two groups took place

As per the statement, the Head Constable had stated that one person, leading the agitated crowd and brandishing pistol in hand, came running towards him and fired 3-4 rounds of shots towards the people. Head Constable Deepak Dahiya further stated that he dodged his head and saved his life and tried to calm down the said person, but he pushed him with his left hand and he again fired at the public. On his complaint, the FIR in question was registered.

The above-stated incident was captured by a Journalist on his mobile phone and the person brandishing and firing from pistol was identified as Shahrukh i.e. petitioner. After sustained interrogation, the petitioner voluntarily disclosed his involvement in the alleged incident and he was arrested in the present case and was behind bars since then.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench before proceeding to the facts and circumstances of the case, Court took a serious view of paras 14 to 16 of this petition which were 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.

High Court added that the role attributed to the petitioner was 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.

Court’s conscience was shaken on watching the video clipping and pictures played wherein it was seen that the law and order was taken in his hands.

Whether or not petitioner had intention to kill the complainant or any person present in the public with his open air pistol shots, but it is hard to believe that he had no knowledge that his act may harm anyone present at the spot.

Adding to its conclusion, Bench stated that the worthiness of the complainant’s statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC and petitioner’s claim that he had not aimed pistol to shot at the complainant, shall be tested at trial.

Trial court rightly held that the petitioner was alleged to have participated in riots and his picture spoke a volume about his involvement.

Hence, keeping in mind the gravity of the situation and offence, the petitioner was not granted bail.

Therefore the petition was dismissed. [Shahrukh Pathan v. State NCT of Delhi, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 1665, decided on 15-04-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Mr Khalid Akhtar, Mr Mohammad Shadan, Mr Bilal Khan, Mr Maaz Akhtar & Mr Sheikh Bakhtyar, Advocates

For the Respondent:

Mr Amit Mahajan & Mr Rajat Nair, Special Public Prosecutors with Mr Shantanu Sharma & Mr Dhruv Pande, Advocates

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