Observing that there is no incriminating material against him except his mobile phones and CCTV footage, the reports of which are still pending, a Nuh court granted interim bail to Ferozepur Jhirka MLA Mamman Khan Tuesday. On September 15, a Special Investigation Team of the Haryana Police arrested the Congress MLA in connection with the July 31 communal violence in Nuh that claimed six lives.
Facing four FIRs, Khan was granted bail in two of these on Sunday while he got interim bail till the next hearing on October 18.
Asking state Public Prosecutor Partap Singh, assisted by the counsel for the complainant, to submit the DITECH report of Khan’s mobile phones as well as DVRs at the earliest, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Ajay Sharma said, “There is no video or CCTV footage of the incident. The applicant is not named in the FIR and no specific role has been attributed to him in the complaint as well as FIR. As per the version of FIR, a mob of a particular community attacked and vandalised the shop and house of the complainant. There is no incriminating material available against him to date. He was not present at the spot at the time of the incident. He has clean antecedents and is not involved in any other criminal case, except three connected cases. The applicant has been in custody since 15.09.2023 and nothing was recovered from him except mobile phones.”
However, the court said Khan was present in Nuh from July 29 to 31 and has attended many meetings.
The Public Prosecutor argued that bail should not be granted till the report comes from the DITECH (Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre) lab, and that it would make everything crystal clear and establish Khan’s role in the violence.
Two phones, one of them formatted, four phones of his brother along with 22 DVRs/CCTV footage were sent to the DITECH Lab, the digital investigation centre of the Haryana Police, in Gurgaon.
ASJ Sharma observed that Khan’s counsel did not answer why his phone was formatted before it was handed over to the investigating officer.
The public prosecutor said, “The DITECH report, which is corroborative evidence of great importance, will (make) clear the entire picture and role of the applicant behind the incident. The name of the applicant was not in the FIR as it is settled law that the FIR is just a piece of information and not an encyclopedia. The role of the applicant is subject to investigation, which is pending. The applicant has expressed his intention through his statement, which was made in the legislative assembly on 30.07.2023. The said statement is a breeding ground for riots (that) occurred on 31.07.2023.”
The court said it is of view that a fair opportunity and chance be given to the prosecution to establish its case and to conduct a fair investigation. “At the same time, the applicant should also not suffer because of some incriminating material (that) may come on record in future against him,” it said, granting interim bail on furnishing Rs 1 lakh with two local sureties. The Public Prosecutor argued that the involvement of the applicant… “has to be looked at properly and fairly because it’s a deep-rooted and multilayer conspiracy”.
The counsel for Khan, including Tahir Hussain Ruparya, told the court that 64 days have passed since the date of occurrence, however, nothing incriminating is on record against the MLA to date. “The entire investigation qua the applicant is based on presumptions. The applicant is a peace-loving citizen and the same is evident from this fact that since the date of his arrest, not a single untoward incident has happened in District Nuh against his arbitrary arrest,” they said.