Libertatem Magazine

“The Video Clip and Pictures Played Before the Court Have Shaken the Conscience of Delhi High Court”

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A petition was filed by Mr Shahrukh Pathan for seeking bail in FIR No. 51/2020 under Section 147/148/149/186/216/307/353 of Indian Penal Code and Section 25/27 of Arms Act in Delhi High Court.


As per Head Constable Deepak Dahiya’s statement on 26.2.2020 he and his team were deputed to maintain law and order in the area between Jaffrabad Metro station and Maujpur Chowk. The area was marked as the clash between two groups which took place on 24.2.2020. Head Constable further stated that one person identified as Shahrukh Pathan (petitioner) herein was leading towards the crowd, brandishing a pistol in his hands. He fired 3-4 rounds of shots towards other people. The Head Constable warned him but the petitioner continued walking and while he was at a distance of 9 to 10 feet when he aimed and shot at the head constable’s head. The head constable somehow dodged and saved his life. The Head Constable was trying to calm him whilst he fired at the public.

This all incident was captured by a journalist on his mobile phone. On 03.03.2020 he was detained and the petitioner voluntarily disclosed his involvement in the incident. He was arrested for this case and he was behind bars.

Petitioner’s Contention

The learned counsel for the petitioner argued that the incident took place on 24.02.2020 and the FIR was filed on 26.02.2020. He said that there was a delay of 50 hours in registering the FIR. Further, he stated the example of Thulai Kali v. State of Tamil Nadu where the court said a delay in lodging the FIR is an afterthought and results in embellishment. The learned counsel further argued that merely because the petitioner was found in Shamli he cannot be said to be an absconder without the Court’s declaration. He added that the petitioner has been made a scapegoat for the riots.

He said that section 307 IPC has been invoked against the petitioner based on the statement given by Head Constable. He argued that the petitioner had only shot in the side and also he had no intention to kill him. He placed reliance upon the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Kerala v. Raneef for deciding about the bail application. He also marked that the Court should bear in mind the delay in concluding the trial. He argued that the Court cannot form any basis to refuse the bail.

Lastly, he said that the petitioner cannot be behind the bars for an indefinitely long period and thus, the petition should be allowed.

Respondent’s Contention

The learned Special Public Prosecutor submitted a video clip as well as some photographs which clearly showed that the petitioner was heading with the pistol towards the complainant intending to kill him. Those photographs and video also showed that the petitioner was heading to the group of mobs, holding the pistol in hand and walking towards the complainant, and also firing the pistol shots.

The learned Special Public Prosecutor claimed that the petitioner had absconded on 24.02.2020 and he was only detained on 03.03.2020. The illegal weapon used by him on 24.02.2020 with 2 live cartridges and the shirt worn by him on 24.02.2020 was found and recovered from his house.

In addition to this S.I Naresh Kumar found 3 empty cartridges with mark KF 7.65 from the spot. The petitioner has admitted to having purchased the illegal weapon from Meerut for Rs. 35,000. The FSL report says that the three cartridges recovered from the spot have been fired from the weapon of offence.

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that the petitioner was not confined in the mob of rioters but of heading the large crowd. The petitioner was also holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots and all these were observed from the videos and photographs shown. Also, the videos and photographs have shaken the Court’s conscience about how the petitioner could take law and order into his hands. The court neglected the matter of whether the petitioner had the intention or not to kill the complainant or any other person present in the mob.

In keeping the complainant’s statement under Section 161 Criminal Procedure Code and petitioners claim that he had no intention while using the pistol shall be tested at trial. The High Court of Delhi held that the trial court had taken the right decision about the allegations made on the petitioner that he had participated in riots.

Court’s Judgment

The Hon’ble Mr Justice Suresh Kumar Kant keeping all the facts into consideration did not grant bail to the petitioner. The video and pictures played before the court had shaken the conscience of this court as to how the petitioner could take law and order into his hands.

Lastly, the petition is accordingly dismissed while refraining to comment upon the merits of the prosecution case.

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