NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Friday granted bail to Faizan Khan, a 35-year-old mobile SIM salesman, who was booked for murder and terrorism in connection with the Delhi riots.
In his order dated 23 October, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said the Delhi Police case against Khan, invoking India’s anti-terror law, the Unlawful Prevention Activities Act (UAPA), was built on “bald statements,” did not appear to be prima facie true, and did not meet the stringent conditions of denying bail.
“I am of the view that the petitioner deserves bail,” he wrote.
HuffPost India has previously reported that the Delhi Police had booked Khan for terrorism and murder in FIR 59, the conspiracy case of the Delhi riots, even though his only crime may have been to sell a SIM on a fake ID in December to a Jamia Millia Islamia University student who would be arrested six months later in the same case.
While the Delhi Police seems determined to pin the Delhi riots on students and activists who led the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the HuffPost India report pointed out that Khan was from a poor family in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, whose family and friends contended that he did not even know what CAA meant and he had never visited a protest site. Salesman like Khan, they said, were under pressure to meet punishing sales quotas and that is why they resorted to selling SIMs on fake IDs.
Even the Delhi Police chargesheet in FIR 59, first says that Khan acted out of greed, but after collecting statements from a handful unidentified witnesses, proceeds to book him for terrorism.
Khan, who was represented by Salman Khurshid and Azra Rehman, is only the second person to be granted bail in FIR 59 after the police invoked the crimes of terrorism under the UAPA and murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The first was Safoora Zargar...