Delhi riots: Court grants bail to man in school burning case

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) A Delhi court Wednesday granted bail to a man in a case of alleged burning of a private school during the February riots in north east Delhi, saying his identification by witnesses and the electronic evidence against him were both doubtful.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav granted the relief to Shahrukh Malik on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount in the case of alleged burning and damaging of properties adjacent to DRP Convent School in Dayalpur area.

Faisal Farooq, owner of Rajdhani School in Shiv Vihar locality, and 16 others were accused in the case.

The court said Malik was not seen in any CCTV footage and though one Shahrukh has been named by two public witnesses in the case, it was not clear whether they were the same person.

It said though one of the public witnesses, Roop Singh knew Malik well, he did not identify him specifically in his statement recorded on March 8 and March 11.

Singh had ultimately named him on March 24 which created doubt about the identification, the court said in its order.

“From the perusal of the material on record, there appears a clear doubt about the identification of applicant (Malik) by the public witnesses. Even the electronic evidence against the applicant is doubtful,” it said.

The court directed him not to tamper with evidence and to maintain peace in his locality. It also asked him to install the “Aarogya Setu” app on his mobile phone.

During the hearing, advocate Nasir Ali, appearing for Saifi, claimed he had been falsely implicated in the matter and was at home on the date of the incident.

Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary, appearing for the police, opposed the bail plea and said call detail record location of Malik was allegedly found at or around the spot of the incident.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured. PTI URD SA