2020 Delhi Riots: Accused Sharukh Pathan Contends Delay in Trial Before High Court

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NEW DELHI — The Delhi High Court on Monday was informed by Shahrukh Pathan, who had allegedly aimed a pistol at a policeman during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, that the conclusion of the trial has been delayed for a long time now and that for more than a year now, only two witnesses have been examined out of 40.

A single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma was dealing with Pathan’s bail plea, which he moved last year in January in a case related to rioting and causing injuries to police personnel; charges against him have already been framed in this case.

Simultaneously, he is facing charges in another case in connection with aiming a pistol.

A trial court had rejected his bail plea in December 2021.

Pathan’s counsel Advocate Khalid Akhtar submitted: “There is a huge delay in the conclusion of the trial. Only two witnesses have been examined so far out of about 40. Until now, only two witnesses have been examined. I have been attacked in jail too,” he said.

Akhtar, while urging the court for an early hearing, submitted: “The bail application has been pending for 14 months now. I filed the bail application here in January 2022.”

The judge then listed the matter for the next hearing on May 2 and directed both Pathan and Delhi Police to file brief written submissions.

A single-judge bench of Amit Sharma on February 9 had asked Pathan to file an application before the trial court for an early hearing of his plea alleging that he was assaulted by jail officials.

Justice Sharma, who was dealing with a similar petition moved by Pathan, had said that since a plea has already been moved before the trial court, it is only just if an application is filed before the concerned court.

His counsel Akhtar had contended that the trial court, which listed the matter for the next hearing on February 28, has not passed any order or direction that relevant CCTV footage be preserved or produced.

Akhtar had said: “There was no order to the effect that some adequate safety measures be provided to him.”

To this, Justice Sharma had orally said that the prerequisite is that Pathan moves an application before the concerned court, and if it does not work out, the court will grant him the liberty.

“You move an application for an early hearing before the trial court. If nothing happens, we will see. We will give you the liberty,” he had said.

Pathan had withdrawn his plea post getting liberty from the HC to move to the trial court for an early hearing of his pending plea.

Though Pathan is an accused in various cases registered during the riots, the petition was moved in the case of aiming a pistol at Head Constable Deepak Dahiya on February 24, 2020. Social media was abuzz with his pictures.

The First Information Report (FIR) in this case was registered under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Arms Act. In December 2021, the trial court framed charges against Pathan and other accused in the FIR.

On January 30, a court discharged a man accused of selling a pistol to Pathan.

“The case against accused Babu Wasim is essentially based on surmises and conjectures rather than actual material or evidence and there is no ground to presume that the accused committed an offence under Section 25 Arms Act. He is accordingly discharged for the said offence,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat had said.

Pathan had disclosed that he had purchased a pistol and 20 rounds from Babu Wasim by paying Rs 35,000 in December 2019, the prosecution had said. — IANS

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