New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a fresh plea by Delhi Police seeking cancellation of bail granted to the owner of a private school in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during anti-CAA protests in February on the ground that a similar petition is already pending before it.
While one petition filed on behalf of state challenging the bail granted to accused Faisal Farooq, the owner of the private school, is already pending before the high court, another similar petition was now filed through another advocate.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said as the June 20 order of the trial court is already challenged in another petition, “the present petition is not maintainable and is dismissed”.
The earlier petition was filed on behalf of the state by advocate Amit Mahajan who is also the Central government standing counsel and claimed that he was authorised by the Delhi Police to file the matter.
While the earlier petition is still pending and the court has already sought response of the accused school owner and has been hearing arguments, the fresh plea has been filed through Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad who said he has been duly appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to represent the state in riots related cases.
Prasad submitted that he had earlier filed an application before the trial court seeking cancellation of Farooq’s bail on the ground that the complainant’s son received a life threatening call from an unknown number and it was made on behalf of the accused.
He said the application was dismissed by the trial court which granted him the liberty to move the high court.
Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra, who has been appointed by the full court of Delhi High Court to represent the state in criminal matters, opposed the filing of the petition saying it was an attempt to do back door entry and they have created an artificial cause of action.
He questioned how two petitions can be filed in the same court on same cause of action and by same parties and how can the registry allow listing of such a plea.
“The Registry should be hauled up for permitting this petition to be listed when another similar petition was already pending. Just because a central government lawyer wants to file it, will the registry flout all the rules,” he argued.
On the high court’s query that to whom the mobile number belongs, Prasad said the investigation is going on in this regard.
“As till date it has not been established that the call relates to the accused (Farooq), no action can be taken,” it said, adding that if it is established at a later stage that the threat call was given to the complainant on behalf of the accused, it will be considered.
The controversy over who will represent the police in Delhi violence related matters has been raised in the high court repeatedly.
Earlier also, when the court was hearing Delhi Police’s plea challenging Farooq’s bail, arguments were exchanged between Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi and lawyer Amit Mahajan.
Mehra has also opposed filing of the earlier petition by Mahajan, saying that the Central Government has no power to file this petition against the June 20 order of the trial court and the state has to be represented by him.
On one such occasion, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had withdrawn his name from the case “out of disgust”.
The earlier petition filed on behalf of police by Mahajan was also listed for hearing on Wednesday and an adjournment was sought as ASG Lekhi was busy in Supreme Court.
The court allowed the request and listed the plea for July 24.
In the criminal case, Faisal Farooq, owner of the Rajdhani School in Shiv Vihar locality was among the 18 arrested, for alleged involvement in burning and damaging property of the adjacent DRP Convent School.
The police has challenged the trial court bail order saying the decision was ex-facie unwarranted.
Delhi Police had on June 3 filed a charge sheet before the court against Farooq and 17 others in the incident in which the building of a private school was burnt down in northeast Delhi.
The trial court, in its bail order, had noted that the charge sheet filed against him in the case was bereft of material showing his alleged links with the Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod group and Muslim clerics.
It had directed Farooq to surrender his passport and not leave the National Capital Region without permission of the court. He should mark his attendance on every alternate Wednesday at the police station concerned. It also asked him not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses.
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police had filed the charge sheet against the accused for allegedly conspiring with the Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod group, Jamia Coordination Committee and Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz for creating riots, in and around his school.
It has also been alleged that protestors against the CAA had received funds from the PFI, formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF). PTI SKV HMP SA