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Mob has no religion: Says Rajasthan HC’s Justice Farjand Ali while granting bail to 18 Islamists accused of attacking Hindu Shobha Yatra in Chittorgarh

The court mentioned, "There is no religion of a mob. When a large group of people is alleged to have committed an offence, it becomes a very tedious task to make separation between the innocent and the real culprits.

The Rajasthan High Court on 20th May commented on the challenges of identifying the offenders during communal disturbances and claimed that a mob has no religion. The remarks were passed while the court granted bail to eighteen accused who were part of a crowd that attacked participants in a Hindu religious procession on 19th March in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan which resulted in the death of one individual named Shyam Lal Chheepa (55) later that day, while several others were injured.

The court expressed that it was difficult to pinpoint who was to blame for the “eruption of affray” or who could have caused injuries after there had been a conflict between two communities and religious feelings might have been offended. According to Justice Farjand Ali, it can be extremely challenging to identify the guilty from the innocent during mob violence.

The court mentioned, “There is no religion of a mob. When a large group of people is alleged to have committed an offence, it becomes a very tedious task to make separation between the innocent and the real culprits. Generally, when some noise is erupted in a crowded area, several persons gather there, some out of curiosity and some out of fear and some people may presumably come to see what exactly is going on. In such a chaotic situation, sometimes the real culprits make their escape good, whereas the mere onlookers may be booked.” 

The accused were arrested on charges that it was a pre-mediated assault and they employed deadly weapons on innocent devotees. Section 302 of the Indian penal Code along with provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was invoked against them.

The defendants then petitioned the High Court for relief after a trial judge denied their request for release and were awarded bail. The court also noted that it was undetermined if the accusations would fall under the purview of the SC/ST Act, however, pronounced that the trial court should look into this. “At this stage, it would be unsafe to make any comment regarding the culpability of the appellants,” the court stated.

The court further pointed out that it’s conceivable that the person’s demise was brought on by a heart attack rather than any injuries sustained during the assault. It asserted that the individual who passed away reportedly had a minor injury to his knee, which could not possibly be the reason for his death. The judge highlighted, “I have perused the postmortem report of deceased Shyam Lal Chheepa available on the case diary and it does not reveal any internal or external injuries except one simple abrasion of 1.5 cm. x 0.5 cm. on the right knee and the opinion for which is given as simple blunt. Any prudent person can presume that the same could not be the cause of death since no blood was oozing out. There is no opinion of the medical board regarding the cause of death. The viscera of the deceased have been preserved and sent for chemical examination. Probably the cause of death was a heart attack or Myocardial infarction.”

The court finally concluded, “This court would not like to comment on the niceties of the matter at this stage, however, in view of the deliberation and enunciation made in the above order and looking to the fact that the appellants are in judicial custody since long and early culmination of the trial is not a seeming fate, no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping them behind the bars, in the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, it is deemed appropriate to grant indulgence of bail to the appellants.”

The accused were ordered by the court to be released on bail if they were not wanted in any other case, as long as they could satisfy the learned trial court by providing a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and two sureties of Rs. 25,000 each, and as long as they could appear before the court on all hearing dates and whenever they were called upon to do so.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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

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