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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused to grant bail to a man arrested in three murder cases after he was allegedly seen carrying a sword while participating in last year’s rioting in the city’s northeast area.Justice Subramonium Prasad stated that the sole eyewitness resided in the same locality as the petitioner-accused and therefore, the possibility of him being threatened could not be discounted.The judge observed that bail jurisprudence attempted to “bridge the gap” between an accused’s personal liberty and social security, and it was the duty of the court to see if granting bail could adversely impact public order.Considering that the statement of the eyewitness is set to be examined on January 20, the court opined that the present cases were not “fit for grant of bail at this juncture” and requested the trial court conclude the examination within one month, preferably on a day-to-day basis.”It is the intricate balance between securing the personal liberty of an individual and ensuring that this liberty does not lead to an eventual disturbance of public order. Therefore, a duty resides in this court to be conscious of whether granting of bail can lead to a possible impediment in the conducting of investigation that can cause inevitable rupture in public order,” the court said in its order dated December 10.”It has been submitted by the learned SPP (special public prosecutor) for the state that examination of the sole public witness remains and is fixed for 20.01.2022. Taking into account this statement of the learned SPP and the possible apprehension of influencing/threatening the sole public witness whose evidence is crucial to this matter, this court is of the opinion that the present case is not fit for grant of bail at this juncture,” added the court as it rejected the three bail pleas by the petitioner.In the present cases, bodies of the dead — Zakir, Mehtaab and Ashfaq — were recovered during the riots that took place in February 2020 under the jurisdiction of the Dayalpur police station.The court recorded that according to the chargesheets filed in the three cases, the petitioner had confessed that the protests and sloganeering against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC hurt his religious sentiments to the extent that he joined a gathering against the Muslim community on February 25.The court stated that the medical opinion pertaining to the postmortem of the three victims revealed that many injuries could be caused by a sword and the verification of the same was a matter of trial. The special public prosecutor opposed the release of the petitioner on bail, saying that he actively participated in the riots in which four people were murdered.It was submitted that the CCTV footage indicated that a mob had beaten up three Muslim boys brutally and the petitioner was seen carrying a sword which was later recovered from him.The prosecution added that the mobile location of the petitioner was also of the alleged crime spot and there was a reasonable apprehension of him absconding or influencing witness if released. The petitioner sought bail on the ground that the FIRs against him were concocted and the whole investigation was based on the false testimony of the eyewitness. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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