Denying anticipatory bail to an accused in the case of communal clashes which broke out on April 16 during a Hanuman Jayanti procession at Jahangirpuri, the Delhi High Court said it is every citizen’s duty to ensure their acts do not instigate communal hatred.
“Ensuring peace and harmony in the country and communities is the most sacred duty of not only the law-enforcing agencies and the Courts but duty has been cast on every citizen of this country that they should maintain peace and harmony and ensure that their acts do not instigate and promote communal hatred or ill-will,” said Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma in the order dated August 17.
The court said that applicant Sheikh Ishrafil has been named by one of the eyewitnesses as one of the “perpetrators” of the riots and “incriminating material” has been recovered from his house. The court also noted that Ishrafil has been absconding and has not cooperated in the investigation.
Observing that his custodial interrogation is warranted in the case, the court said it cannot allow investigations to be thwarted by such applicants. It is evident that he has not joined the investigation and is purposefully evading arrest, it added.
“No doubt, the fundamental right of personal liberty has been granted to every citizen of this country. However, the same is subject to duties which are in turn cast upon every citizen. In the present case, the applicant has evaded arrest and proceedings under section 82 CrPC (proclamation for person absconding) have been concluded against him. The proceedings under section 83 CrPC (attachment of property of person absconding) are pending,” said the court.
The bench further said that though on one hand it has been argued that he was in-charge of ensuring peace in the area, on the other hand his conduct of not cooperating with the police points to the contrary. “It is a strange paradox that the applicant claims he is area in-charge of ‘Aman Committee’, but has not joined investigation of offences which have defeated the very purpose and aim of such committee,” read the order.
In the application seeking pre-arrest bail, Ishrafil had argued that he has been falsely implicated in the case and on the day of this incident, he and his family were involved in the rites related to his father’s death, who passed away on April 14. There is no CCTV footage pertaining to his involvement in the incident and he also is not in possession of the house, where the alleged suspicious material was recovered, his counsel told the court.
Police described Ishrafil as one of the main conspirators of the incident and told the court that FSL team found bricks, glass, ceramic pieces from the terrace of his house.