Head constable murder: court dismisses bail plea of accused

Judge cites possibility of intimidating witnesses

A Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of a man arrested in connection with the death of head constable Rattan Lal during the north-east Delhi riots last year.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav noted that the nature of allegations against accused Irshad Ali are “very serious”. The judge remarked that the public witnesses in the case are residents of the same locality as Ali and the possibility of him threatening or intimidating them, if released on bail at this stage cannot be ruled out.

Prima facie opinion

The court also said it was “prima facie evident that at or around the commission of crime, i.e the murder of Rattan Lal, there was nobody present at the roof of Mohan Nursing Home”. “The footage of NDTV does not appear to be contemporaneous to the commission of crime in this case. It is, however, a prima facie opinion which shall be ascertained during the course of trial,” it said.

Ali’s counsel had relied on a viral video of news channel NDTV to argue that persons from the riotous mob, who were found stationed on the rooftop of Mohan Nursing Home, were firing upon the police personnel and persons of other community. “Mohan Nursing Home being not far away from the scene of crime (SOC), it is quite possible that deceased HC Rattan Lal might have suffered bullet injury from any such rifle and consequently died,” Ali’s counsel had argued.

However, the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) played two video clips in the court. In the first clip, which is part of a news bulletin of NDTV, narrated by Mr. Ravish Kumar, showed a number of persons at the roof of Mohan Nursing Home firing through rifle. The second video, which is claimed to be contemporaneous to the attack upon the police party by the rioters, clearly showed that at that time there was nobody at the roof of Mohan Nursing Home.

The SPP argued that the footage of NDTV did not show the correct picture as far as the time of commission of crime in this case is concerned; whereas, the other footage which is part of the record of this case, clearly establishes that nobody was there on the roof of Mohan Nursing Home at the time of incident.

The court while dismissing Ali’s bail plea said the bail applications of several co-accused has already been dismissed.

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