New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused bail to two persons who were arrested in a Delhi riots case related to the recovery of a 15-year old boy’s body from a drain in Gokulpuri area. Justice Mukta Gupta stated that in view of the witnesses, who saw the petitioners Ankit Chaudhary and Rishabh Chaudhary – assault people of the other religion, no ground for their release was made out.
The judge added that since the petitioners resided in the vicinity of the place of the crime, their tower location as per call records was not sufficient to conclude that the petitioners were not present at the spot as they may have left phones at their residences. As per the prosecution, the body, found to be of a 15-year-old, had injury marks on the backside of the head, was recovered from the drain on March 1, 2020.
The father of the deceased identified the body by the clothes on March 13, 2020, it was said. The FIR was registered for the commission of several offences under the Indian Penal Code, including murder by Gokulpuri police station.
The court noted that as per the statement of an eyewitness, some people, including the petitioners, had gathered near a poolia (bridge) and attacked passers-by with sticks, rods and stones and thereafter threw the body in the nala (drain). It is evident that the three witnesses have clearly identified the two petitioners with the other accused who were present at the spot and were looking at the IDs of each and every person and on being identified from the other religion, the said passer bye’s were being assaulted. Since the accused have been named in statements of the witnesses, no TIP was required to be performed of the accused, the court said.
As regards the call detail record location of the petitioners is concerned, the petitioners are residing in the vicinity of the place of incident and hence the tower location of the petitioners at the relevant time would not be sufficient to conclude that the petitioners were not present at the spot for the reason it may also be possible that the petitioners left their mobile phone at their residences, it added. After perusing the testimony of the witnesses, the court also opined that prima facie, there was no material contradictions in the statement of the witnesses.
Considering the nature of evidence against the two petitioners particularly the ocular testimony of the witnesses who are local residents this Court finds no ground to grant regular bail to the petitioners. Petitions are dismissed, the court ruled. Counsel for Ankit Chaudhary contended that there was a material contradiction in the statements of witnesses and the cell location of his client did not show him present at the place of incident.
It was also argued that there was no recovery from the petitioner and there was no CCTV footage to shows his involvement in the alleged offence. Counsel for Rishabh Chaudhary also alleged that the evidence was manipulated and that he was not a member of a WhatsApp group ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’ whose participants were implicated in FIRs concerning the recovery of several dead bodies from the drain.
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