[Delhi 2020 Riots] High Court Issues Notice to Delhi Police in Shahrukh Pathan's Bail Plea

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In December 2021, charges were formally framed against Pathan under Sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 188, 153A, 283, 353, 332, 323, and 307 of the Indian Penal Code

The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to Delhi Police in a plea filed by Shahrukh Pathan, the individual seen brandishing a gun at a police officer during the 2020 Delhi riots.

Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Delhi Police to respond to the plea. Additionally, the court called for the nominal roll pertaining to the case. The matter has been scheduled for further hearing on April 16.

Pathan faces accusations of various offenses, including rioting, unlawful assembly, and promoting enmity between different groups. In December 2021, charges were formally framed against him under Sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 188, 153A, 283, 353, 332, 323, and 307 of the Indian Penal Code.

In December 2021, charges were framed against him, and subsequently, on December 14, 2023, the trial court denied him bail.

The court's decision to deny bail was grounded in multiple factors, including Pathan's conduct both within the courtroom and in jail, coupled with the gravity of the charges levied against him.

While Pathan had been granted bail on October 7, 2023, in a case related to causing injuries to several police personnel and inflicting a gunshot wound on one Rohit Shukla during clashes between anti- and pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors, he remained in custody as he had not sought bail in the case pertaining to pointing a gun at a policeman.

The trial court had taken note of Pathan's behavior during court proceedings, citing an incident where he passed a note containing a phone number to a co-accused.

Additionally, the trial court had observed incidents in jail where Pathan went missing, was found in possession of a mobile phone, and engaged in altercations and disputes with fellow inmates as well as prison officials.

Considering the seriousness of the allegations, Pathan's conduct, and the existence of a recorded video depicting him pointing a gun at a police officer, the trial court had concluded that bail was not warranted in this case, thereby maintaining Pathan's continued detention.

It is to be noted, that Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, in April 2021, refused to grant bail to Pathan, in another case wherein he is seen in a CCTV footage holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots. The court had upheld the findings of the trial court that Pathan had participated in riots, and his picture spoke volumes about his involvement.

“The video clipping and pictures played before this Court have shaken the conscience of this Court how petitioner could take law and order in his hands. Whether or not Petitioner had the intention to kill the complainant or any person present in the public with his open-air pistol shots, but it is hard to believe that he had no knowledge that his act may harm anyone present at the spot,” the court had then said.

Case Title: Shahrukh Pathan v. State