Delhi violence: HC stays bail of school owner arrested on charges of rioting
On June 20, a court in Delhi had granted Farooq bail, saying it was prima facie not established that the he was present at the time of the violence.
The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed the bail granted to Faisal Farooq, a school owner arrested in connection with the large-scale communal violence that broke out in the North East district of the Capital in February, The Leaflet reported. It also sought his response on the plea filed by the Delhi Police challenging his release.
Farooq, the owner of Rajdhani School, located in the Shiv Vihar locality, was among 18 people who were arrested in a case of rioting and for burning down an adjacent school in the area on February 24. At least 53 people had died and over hundreds were injured in the violence which erupted after supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act clashed with those opposing it.
The Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet against Farooq and others on June 3. But on June 20, a court in Delhi granted Farooq bail, saying it was prima facie not established that he was present at the spot at the time when violence broke out in the area.
However, a Delhi High Court bench headed by Justice SK Kait on Monday ruled that Farooq will continue to remain in custody until further orders. The matter has been listed for further hearing on Tuesday.
The hearing also saw an exchange of words between Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, and the Delhi government. Standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra claimed that the central government has no power to file this petition against the June 20 order of the trial court. However, Mehta said he was following the instructions received from the Centre to file the petition and appear before the court.
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In its chargesheet, the Delhi Police had claimed that investigation into the rioting incident had revealed that Farooq had “links with prominent members of Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod, Jamia Coordination Committee, Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz and some other fundamental Muslim clerics, including Deoband”.
The police also claimed that it was on Farooq’s instructions that DRP Convent School, the school “adjacent and rival” to his Rajdhani School, along with two parking lots, and a sweets shop building were “systematically destroyed” by the protestors.
However, during the June 20 hearing, the court had noted that the chargesheet filed against him in the case was bereft of material showing his alleged links with Popular Front of India, Pinjra Tod group and Muslim clerics.
It had allowed for Farooq’s release from jail on a bail bond of Rs 50,000 along with two sureties of like amount, and asked him to surrender his passport and not leave the city without their permission.