‘Only one languishing in jail, others out on bail’: Delhi riots accused Pathan tells HC

While arguing his bail plea, Shahrukh Pathan, who was captured on camera allegedly pointing a pistol at a Delhi Police constable during the 2020 Delhi riots, told the Delhi High Court Tuesday that he is “the only one languishing in jail” in the case while other accused have been granted bail.

Appearing before a single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Pathan’s lawyer said that his client had been incarcerated for three years and a month, while other accused in the case are already out on bail. The 9/">case against Pathan pertains to rioting, unlawful assembly, attempt to murder among other offences that took place at Maujpur Chowk, registered at police station Jafrabad in FIR 49/2020.

“The bail application and arguments on charge were heard together. Bail was rejected on the ground that he is an accused in another case, that he could be a flight risk and that there were contradictions in statements which are subject matter of trial. There are five accused in the case. I’m the only person who is neither named nor identified, and I’m languishing in jail. The other accused who have been identified and named have been granted bail,” Pathan’s counsel said.

The case pertains to the accused being a member of an unlawful assembly who, along with other associates armed with bottles, stones and pistols, obstructed police officials in discharge of their public functions. Delhi Police has alleged that the mob caused injuries to police personnel, adding gunshot injury was sustained by one victim – Rohit Shukla. In December 2021, the trial court framed charges against Pathan and denied him bail pursuant to which he moved the HC last year. The HC had issued notice to the Delhi Police in January.

His counsel further said that no role had been attributed to his client and it was not the prosecution’s case that he had shot the victim. The high court, while listing the matter on July 24, directed the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) appearing for the Delhi Police to file a chart indicating the role of the accused persons, including Pathan, and the evidence attributed against them.

The SPP argued Tuesday that they had filed additional documents in the case which contain certain reports with respect to Pathan’s conduct in jail. Pathan’s counsel said that his conduct in jail has no bearing on the present case. However, Justice Sharma remarked, “Whatever is the conduct in jail will have a bearing on your bail.”

Pathan’s counsel had argued in February that since there are two cases pending against Pathan, the investigating agency had taken evidence from another case and falsely implicated him in the present case.

Prior to the hearing in February, Pathan had alleged that there was a discrepancy in Shukla’s statement. Pathan had previously submitted that in the Medico Legal Case/report, the time and place of attack is different from what has been stated by the victim (Shukla) in his statement under Section 161 CrPC. It was then argued that Pathan had been in custody since April 3, 2020, the investigation is complete and Pathan is in no position to influence or threaten the witnesses, and therefore “bail may be granted”.

Delhi Police has registered FIR 49/2020 under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (offence committed by unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant from performing duty), 188 (disobedience of order of public servant), 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion, etc.), 283 (danger or obstruction in public way), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 307 (attempt to murder), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) r/w 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the Arms Act against Pathan.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, in his December 7, 2021 order, while denying Pathan bail, had said, “There is also a CCTV footage of camera installed near Metro Pillar No. 208, a mere 40-50 meters away from the Maujpur Chowk, and it shows the presence of accused Shahrukh Pathan in the riotous mob. Even, as per his CDR location, he was present at the spot,” adding that constable Deepal Dahiya had identified Pathan. Pathan is also accused of pointing a gun at Dahiya in FIR 51/2020.