Thursday, June 13, 2024

Delhi pogrom: Why Shahrukh Pathan is still in jail?

Shahrukh Pathan

Akhlad Khan

Delhi High Court to hear regular bail plea of Shahrukh Pathan on 18 March, a Muslim youth and resident of northeast Delhi whose picture showing him pointing a gun at an unarmed Delhi Police Head Constable during the anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi, went viral on social media.

Shahrukh had filed the bail application on 15 December, 2020 but the hearing on it was delayed. After hearing on 11 January, 2021, the order was reserved on 18 January, 2021 which got further extended to January 27, 2021 and then to February 3, 2021. The order finally came on 4 February, 2021 in which the Court rejected his bail plea.

“Due to COVID-19, the trial has been suspended indefinitely, the inhumane brunt of which is being faced by the petitioner. This indefinite incarceration at pre-trial stage, when no other investigation is required to be done, directly infringes upon the personal liberty of the petitioner as every accused person is manifestly there is going to be delay in conducting trial, Pathan cannot be made to suffer and must be released on bail as held by the Supreme Court”, said A. Khan who is Shahrukh’s attendant.

“The Criminal Justice System works on the guiding principle that “every person is innocent until proven guilty” and yet, contrary to the principles, Shahrukh has been indefinitely incarcerated ever since his arrest,” he adds.

Speaking to Maktoob, Pathan’s counsel Khalid Akhtar pointed out that Shahrukh Pathan has been in jail for the past more than 380 days i.e. since 3 March 2020 on false and aggravated charges merely to make the applicant the poster boy of the riot and protect the bigger and actual players such as Kapil Mishra and Anurag Thakur who were behind this anti-Muslim pogrom.

Speaking to this correspondent, Supreme Court advocate Akhtar told that the complainant, a Police Head Constable Deepak Dahiya, who had not made any complaint despite being a victim of the alleged attempted murder was made to lodge the FIR by the Senior Police Officers after 56 hours of delay, alleging therein that “when Shahrukh was at a distance of 9 – 10 feet, the applicant shot at the head of the Police Constable and the complainant could only save himself by dodging”, only goes on to show that the FIR is nothing but a motivated and false FIR lodged with intention to incarcerate Shahrukh Pathan and to make him the poster boy of the riot. Whereas in all his interviews with news channels of national repute, the same complainant Constable Deepak Dahiya himself states that the accused “never shot at” him.

The Ld. Addl. Sessions Judge completely ignores the interviews of the complainant with the news channels by conveniently stating that such interviews are not the part of charge sheet. Moreover, the Judge also chose to ignore the press conference conducted by the Narcotic Division, Crime Branch immediately after the arrest of the applicant on 30 March, 2020 wherein the Police Officer had himself stated that “though the applicant had pointed gun at the complainant but he had never shot at him..” and yet the Ld. Addl Sessions Judge chose to shrug away this glaring discrepancy as minor discrepancy, unmindful of the fact that it is this minor discrepancy which transforms a mere arms act to an attempted murder which aggravates punishment and also attracts grave consequences and which also has negated the bail of the applicant so far, he said.

The police officials and the prosecution are so hell bent in misleading the Court that the only exculpatory evidence according to which this instant FIR was forced to be lodged by senior police officers is the alleged viral video which claims to have captured the applicant shoot at the complainant with intent to kill him. The said video, despite being submitted by the witness Saurabh Trivedi to the police officials has not been supplied, despite filing of chargesheet, simply for the reason that no such act of shooting at the complainant ever happened and that the misdeeds and fraud played by the Investigating officers in actively misleading the Court would come on record if this video is at all furnished. 

“The prosecution with their sheer propaganda has managed to imprint every mind including the minds of judiciary into believing in a non-existing mythical video, to contain the footage of the present applicant shooting at the complainant and the said video cannot be shared with the applicant as other possible suspects might run away and the Ld. Addl. Sessions Judge simply believes whatever the prosecution says and dismisses the bail application,” says Mohammad Shadan, Sharukh’s counsel.

In stark contravention to such clear position of the laid down law, Pathan has been languishing behind bars for the past 11 months despite the non-commencement of trial, defense counsel Akhtar said and added that the facts he argued on in the Sessions Court were excluded from the orders passed by the Additional Sessions Judge because the prosecution failed to challenge these facts.

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