A Delhi Court today remanded fifteen persons arrested in the aftermath of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Daryaganj last week to judicial custody for 14 days.
The Court also dismissed the bail plea moved by them and held,
"The allegations are very serious. Investigation is at an initial stage. No ground for bail is made out at this stage."
The arrests were made pursunat to an FIR filed under Sections 147/148/149/436/427/323/353/332/186/120-B/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
After the expiry of the 2 days' judicial custody, all fifteen were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Kapil Kumar today.
Appearing for all the accused, Senior Advocate Rebecca John argued that all the arrested persons had gone to Jama Masjid to attend the Friday prayers and were illegally picked up and falsely implicated in the case by the Delhi Police.
Claiming that none of them were given notice under Section 41 CrPC (power of police to arrest without warrant), John argued that the case was an example of high-handedness and arbitrainess on part of the police officials.
John also objected to the inclusion of Sections 120B and 436 IPC, and provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act in the FIR.
Delhi Police, on the other hand, argued that the case was a "glaring example" of rioting and if granted bail, the persons may commit the same offences again or influence witnesses.
It was also claimed that the accused, along with other unknown persons, petled stones on police officers, intentionally damaged public property, took law into their hands, and did their best to create a sense of fear in the society.
The Court was also informed that the 15 arrested persons were apprehended from the spot of the incident by the police officers who were on duty and that none of them were below 21 years of age.
After hearing the parties, the Court opined that Section 436 IPC was prima facie not applicable to the facts at hand and that the allegations in the FIR made out a prima facie case under Section 435 IPC (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage).
As far as inclusion of provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act was concerned, the Court stated the barricades which were damaged in the incident were public property, and hence, the invocation of the Act was prima facie justified.
In conclusion, the Court held that given the stage of the investigation and the serious nature of the offences, bail could not be granted at this stage.
Subsequently, the accused were remanded to judicial custudy for 14 days.
The sixteenth accused as per the FIR, Bhim Army Chief, Chandra Shekhar Azad was remanded to 14 days' judicial custody by the Duty Magistrate, Arjinder Kaur on December 21.
Read the Order: