Delhi High Court: In an application filed by Aakash Choudhary (‘petitioner’) seeking anticipatory bail, as FIR was registered against him and Gaurav Singh /co-accused under Sections 308, 323, 341 read with 34 Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), Justice Talwant Singh granted bail on the ground that the CCTV footage, prima facie does not support the allegations mentioned in the FIR, as far as the present applicants are concerned keeping in view that the applicants are ready to join the investigation.
The applicant claimed that the present FIR is a counter blast to the applicant’s FIR registered at PS Sarita Vihar, Delhi, registered under the influence of one Mr. Brahm Singh, who is the aggressor and husband of a local municipal councilor.
The Court opined that that the only reliable piece of evidence, which gives a clear picture of the incident is the CCTV footage of the entire incident, which was captured in a CCTV installed near the ground.
The Court noted that the altercation started on a very minor issue when the complainant stopped a tractor trolly for ferrying certain material to the park where they were going to host a Kabaddi tournament. On this minor issue, the incident escalated to a free for all fight, which resulted in injuries on both sides and rival groups have lodged the FIRs against other groups, alleging the facts, which best suited to them, without realizing that the entire incident was captured in a CCTV camera.
The Court further noted that the investigating agency is required to investigate the entire incident on the basis of scientific evidence, without relying upon exaggerated allegations made in both the FIRs and to conclude the investigation and take further action.
The Court directed the area DCP to ensure that an independent investigation is conducted into the incident and take steps as per law, without getting influenced by the stature or political background of any of the parties and to supervise the progress of the investigation at regular intervals and review the progress made so far.
But the Court made a very interesting observation while dealing with this matter. The Court remarked
“It has been noticed that in the bail applications, apart from stating the facts, elaborate extracts from judgements have been made part of the pleadings. The learned drafting counsel is requested to adhere to the basic principles of pleading and state only facts and the legal provisions applicable along with the grounds on which the bail has been sought. As far as the citations are concerned, the counsels are at liberty to cite all relevant judgements at the time of the arguments. There is no need to attach copies of the judgements with the pleadings, which results in making the pleadings too bulky.”
The Court granted anticipatory bail, subject to the following conditions:
(i) They shall join the investigation as and when called by the IO and fully cooperate in the same.
(ii) They shall not contact, coerce or threaten the complainant and the witnesses in the present case;
(iii) They shall share their Mobile Numbers with the IO within one week of the date of this order and keep the mobile location on at all times;
(iv) They shall not leave the country without permission from the learned Trial Court.
[Aakash Choudhary v. The State of NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2979, decided on 15-09-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For petitioner- Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Sr. Advocate with Mr. Ravi Kumar, Mr. Rohit Pratap Singh, Mr. Gagandeep and Mr. Shailender Singh, Advocates
For State- Mr. N.S. Bajwa, APP. Mr. Kirti Uppal, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Himanshu Bidhuri, Ms. Riya Gulati and Mr. Chandan Sinha, Advocates for R-2.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.