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Jahangirpuri Violence: Delhi High Court Grants Bail to Alleged Leader of Crowd

Justice Yogesh Khanna released 43-year-old Babuddin on a personal bond and surety of Rs 20,000.

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 30 August, granted bail to the alleged leader of the violent crowd in connection with the case concerning clashes in Jahangirpuri on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti earlier this year.

Justice Yogesh Khanna released 43-year-old Babuddin on a personal bond and surety of Rs 20,000 each and said that CCTV footage showed that he was “just standing and was not seen instigating the crowd.”

The court added that in spite of the prosecution taking various dates to bring other CCTV footage on record, no such record was shown to it.

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What Did the Court Say?

It considered that the petitioner was in custody since 27 April and was not required for further investigation and proceeded to admit him to bail in the case.

“So far as the petitioner is concerned it is alleged by the State he was the leader of the crowd and is identified in two CCTV footages. However, if one peruses the present CCTV footage the petitioner was just standing and was not seen instigating the crowd,” said the court in its order.

“Though the State has taken various dates to bring on record various other CCTV footages to show this fact but they have not placed the same on record as yet. Nevertheless looking at his period of custody, being since 27 April 2022; he is no more required for further investigation; the charge sheet qua him has already been filed; one of the co-accused Jahid has since been granted bail…; the injured have since been discharged, he is admitted to bail on his executing a personal bond of Rs 20,000/- with one surety of the like amount,” the court ordered.

Violent clashes broke out in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on 16 April between two groups during a Hanuman Jayanti procession that left eight police personnel and a civilian injured.

In its order, the court recorded that FIR was registered for the alleged commission of offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, and an examination of CCTV footage revealed that several persons holding swords, sticks, and weapons formed part of the unlawful assembly and firearms were also used during the riots.

A large number of accused persons are yet to be arrested and 37 persons have been arrested and nine firearms and nine swords have been recovered, it added.

“During the investigation of the case, statements of witnesses have been recorded under Section 161 CrPC. On the basis of CCTV footage and identification by witnesses, 37 persons have been arrested and 2 CCLs (child in conflict of law) have also been apprehended. As many as 09 firearms and 09 swords have been recovered in this case,” it observed.

“Large numbers of accused persons are at large and efforts are being made to arrest the co-accused persons and recover the firearms. In present case CCTV footage and viral videos are being examined and the same reveals a large number of persons were the members of unlawful assembly holding swords, sticks, and weapons and firearms were also used during the riots,” it added.

The petitioner, represented by advocates K C Mittal, Mobina Khan, and Abid Ahmad, moved the high court against the trial court's 25 May order by which the bail plea of the accused was dismissed.

The plea claimed that the prosecution made a blatant, false, and fabricating story to implicate Babuddin which cannot be corroborated from the video played by the prosecution before the trial court.

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