Stating that the Delhi Police's case was nothing aside from bald statements of witnesses, the Delhi high court granted bail to a riots accused who supplied a SIM card which was employed by Jamia Coordination Committee. The order was gone one Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kait.
The bail applicant, Faizan Khan was arrested by Delhi Police within the case concerning the conspiracy that led to the riots within the capital’s North-East area in February 2020. The case alleges the commission of offences under the Unlawful Activities Act. Faizan Khan and one of the charge-sheeted accused, Asif Iqbal Tanha acted in connivance with each other and executed the preparatory work for the commission of the unlawful and terrorist acts.
The specific allegation against Faizan was that he activated the SIM card while working because the authorized Airtel representative at a store called Golden Communication.
This SIM card was later employed by another accused, Safoora Zargar, in name only only only of Jamia Coordination Committee for managing various sites and mobilising Muslim people.
As per witness statement, Faizan Khan stated that it had been essential to issue the SIM Card on a fake ID and was to be delivered to Asif Iqbal Tanha who was fighting for his community.
Delhi Police opposed bail on rock bottom that investigation against six accused was still pending. It was asserted that insight of the evidence read with the presumption of commissioning of offence as provided under section 14-E of UAPA, there was no ground to grant bail to Faizan Khan.
Faizan was a poor salesman who worked on a meagre salary at a store in Okhla.
After considering the material available on record, the Court noted that it had been nobody's case that Faizan Khan was a neighbourhood of any Whatsapp group which coordinated or organized protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.
There is also no allegation that he engaged in any kind of terror funding or such other ancillary activity, the Court added. The Court iterated that for invoking the UAPA, Delhi Police need to have demonstrated that Faizan Khan had actual knowledge that the said SIM card would be used for organizing the protests.
The Court further held,
It is pertinent to say here that the onerous conditions/embargo under section 43D (5) of the UAPA, 1967 won't be applicable within this case qua the petitioner herein.
The Court also took into account that Faizan Khan voluntarily appeared before the investigating agency for questioning and didn't evade or flee between the periods of registration of the FIR in March and his arrest in July.
There is not any proof on record like CCTV footage, video or messages of the petitioner with any of the group except the allegation that he provided SIM on fake ID in December 2019 and brought a little amount of Rs.200/- for the same.
The Court deemed it fit to grant bail to Faizan Khan on fur shining a private bond within the sum of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the likes of amount.