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‘COVID bail’ extension provisions granted by HC being misused: Court rejects bail pleas of Ratan Lal murder accused

The prosecution informed the court that many accused in the Delhi riots cases have been seeking interim bail on humanitarian grounds and then never coming back to prison, taking advantage of the 'COVID bail', extensions granted earlier by the Delhi High Court in a suo moto case.

A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the interim bail pleas of two accused persons, Mohamad Ayyub and Saleem Khan involved in the murder of head constable Ratan Lal during the violence that swept northeast Delhi in February this year. 

Accused Saleem Khan had applied for the interim bail on the grounds of the death of his 75-year-old sister. He has petitioned that he needs to perform post-death rituals for his deceased sister. Delhi police had told the trial court that many accused were misusing the interim bail which was being extended to them during Covid-19 pandemic.

The Public Prosecutor, appearing for the police, opposed the bail application arguing that the accused seek interim bails for a very short period and before its expiry, they file an application seeking an extension. The prosecution informed the court that many accused in the Delhi riots cases have been seeking interim bail on humanitarian grounds and then never coming back to prison, taking advantage of the ‘COVID bail’, extensions granted earlier by the Delhi High Court in a suo moto case.

The public prosecutor furthered that the accused has 9 other surviving siblings and besides, his sister is survived by her husband and five children who can perform her last rites.

Interim bail plea of another accused in the Ratan Lal murder case also rejected

Meanwhile, the Delhi court also rejected the interim bail application of another accused Mohammad Ayyub, who is also accused in the murder of constable Ratan Lal. Mohd Ayyub had sought interim bail for 11 days to perform post-death ceremonies of his father.

Rejecting the plea, the additional sessions judge Vinod Yada said: “The offences alleged against the applicant in the matter are quite serious as the present case pertains to an assault upon police force and resultant death of Head Constable Ratan Lal and severe injuries suffered by Amit Kumar Sharma, IPS, DCP-Shahdara; Anuj Kumar, IPS, and 51 other police personnel at the hands of rioters.”

“It is further a matter of record that the applicant (Ayyub) has already availed the benefit of interim bail twice in the matter and his other three brothers can very well perform the remaining post-death ceremonies of his deceased father,” the additional sessions judge said in its order.

Ratan Lal’s murder was a part of a wider conspiracy to trigger communal riots in Delhi

It may be recalled that head constable Ratan Lal was lynched to death by a violent Islamist mob while he was trying to do his duty on main Wazirabad Road, Chand Bagh during the Delhi riots in February.

It was reported at the time that the police had essentially gone to speak to the mob, pacify them and ask them not to continue with their illegal march, and it was then that they were attacked.

During the perusal of the charge sheet, OpIndia noticed that several witnesses who were examined by the authorities attested to the fact that before Ratan Lal was lynched to death by the Islamist mob, two other police officer was held hostage by the mob.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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