The Delhi High Court denied bail to Salim Malik accused of provoking the people to indulge in violence during Delhi Riots in 2020.

The Appeal was filed by one of the Accused who was arrested in the FIR registered at the instance of a constable, who on February 20, 2020, along with others was attacked by the mob during the Delhi Riots. In the alleged incident, one Head Constable lost his life and one DCP sustained grievous injuries. The Appellant had filed a bail application before Sessions Court, which was dismissed, hence, the present appeal.

The Accused was one of the protestors, who had provoked the people present there to indulge in violence and consequently, there was pelting of stones and attack on the police personnel with sticks, rods etc. and the government and non-government property was extensively damaged.

The Division Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain observed, “…Thus, though the citizen of this country has a right to protest but it has to be in a peaceful manner and without resorting to violence. However, in the meetings dated 20/21.02.2020 at Chand Bagh and again on 22/23.02.2020, which were attended by the appellant along with other accused, the aspects related to riot-like violence and burning of Delhi, were openly discussed which is not acceptable in any democratic Nation. There were also talks of finances, arranging arms, procuring of petrol bombs for killing of people and arsoning of property and destruction of CCTV installed in the area.”

Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid appeared for the Appellant and Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared for the Respondent.

The Court observed, “In view of the afore-noted factual matrix of the case and statements of the witnesses recorded during investigation, we find that the accusation made against the appellant make out a „prima facie true‟ case against him. Consequently, embargo created under Section 43-D(5) of UAPA, automatically gets attracted. Moreover, at the stage of consideration of bail in UAPA, the Court is not required to do extensive or comprehensive evaluation of the evidence and is required to form opinion on the basis of broad probabilities. The evaluation is essentially based on surface-analysis of the probative value of the material so collected. The Court is, thus, required to assess whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusation made against any such accused are “prima facie true‟ or not.”

The Court relied on the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Gurwinder Singh Vs. State of Punjab and Another which observed that the charges against the accused therein revealed different members were recruited for multiple roles and the mere fact that the accused had not received any funds or that nothing incriminating was recovered from him, would not absolves him of his role in the crime.

Accordingly, the Court held, “In the present case, there is enough material on record which clearly indicates that the appellant herein was a co-conspirator and has committed the offence for which he has been charge-sheeted…Therefore, in view of bar provided under Section 45 D (5) of UAPA, we do not find any merit in the present appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed, while making it clear that any observation made hereinabove shall not be construed as an expression on the merits of the case and the learned Trial Court, while deciding the charges, shall not be influenced, either way, by any observation made herein above.”

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Accused.

Cause Title: Salim Malik@Munna v. State of NCT of Delhi (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:3140-DB)


Appellant: Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, Advocates Bilal A Khan, Anshu Kapoor and Sidra Khan.

Respondent: Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, Advocates Ayodhya Prasad, Anuradha Mishra and Ninaz Baldawala.

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