A court in Haryana’s Nuh on Tuesday granted bail to Congress MLA Mamman Khan in connection with the communal violence that broke out on July 31, his lawyer told Scroll.

Khan was arrested on September 14 after the Haryana government told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the legislator had been “nominated” as an accused in one of the first information reports pertaining to the violence.

Clashes broke out on July 31 between Hindus and Muslims in Nuh during the Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra, a procession organised by the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The violence soon spread beyond Nuh, with Gurugram, in particular, witnessing widespread arson and mob attacks on Muslim homes and shops.

Six persons – including two home guards, an imam at a mosque and a Bajrang Dal member – died.

Khan was booked under Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.), 379A (snatching), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 201(causing disappearance of evidence), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death), 107 (abetment), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, reported Live Law.

The legislator was booked in three more cases for similar offences. Of these, he had been granted bail in the remaining two on September 30, reported Live Law.

In its latest bail order pertaining to one of the FIRs on Tuesday, Additional Session Judge Ajay Sharma noted that the case had been filed against unknown persons and there is no CCTV footage of the incident.

He also noted that Khan has not been named in the FIR and no role has been attributed to him.

“He was not present at the spot of the incident,” the court said. “He has clear antecedents and not involved in any other criminal cases except three connected cases. The applicant is in custody since 15.09.2023 and nothing has recovered from him except his mobile phone.”

The court said that the prosecutor does not want Khan to be released on bail since he is sure that a digital investigation lab report about the incident will make the legislator’s involvement “crystal clear”.

The judge, however, observed that the court should strike a balance between the liberty of an individual and the equity of the victims who have suffered due to the violence. “It is a basic principle of criminal jurisprudence that thousands of culprits can escape but one innocent should not be be punished,” the order said.

The judge ordered Khan to furnish bail bond of Rs 1 lakh. He also directed the legislator to appear before the court at the next hearing.