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Delhi High Court Spotlights On Personal Liberty, says “Bail Is Rule, Jail Is Exception”

While granted bail to six people in a murder case related to the unrest in northeast Delhi in February 2020, the Delhi High Court stated that it is the Court’s constitutional obligation to guarantee that there is no arbitrary loss of human liberty in the face of excess of state authority.

Mohammad Tahir, Shahrukh, Mohammad Faizal, Mohammad Shoaib, Rashid, and Parvez were granted bail on Tuesday by Justice Subramonium Prasad in connection with the death of a man in Gokulpuri, whose corpse was discovered mangled in a sweet store during the unrest.


In the order copy, Justice Prasad further stated that bail is the norm and incarceration is the exception and that courts must utilize their power to defend the foundations of human liberty, subject to legitimate restriction by lawfully passed laws.

The Court further noted that the Petitioner, in this case, has been in detention for 22 months and was formally added via a charge sheet dated June 4, 2020. A review of the evidence on file reveals to the Court that the only evidence available against the Petitioner is his appearance in the CCTV footage, Himanshu’s statement, and the CDR, which places the Petitioner at the site of the incident. However, the validity of all of these items will be challenged over the course of the trial and cannot be used to justify the Petitioner’s continued detention.


While ruling on the bail requests, the Court also observed that the charge sheet and additional charge sheet had already been submitted. According to the charge sheet, there are presently 72 witnesses who need to be interrogated; thus, the trial is expected to take a lengthy period.

The Court believes that detaining the Petitioner for an indefinite amount of time would be unwise at this point. According to the order, because the Petitioner has roots in society, there is no risk of his absconding and escaping.


According to the Delhi Police, the suspects were charged with vandalism for setting fire to a sweet store, which resulted in the death of a 22-year-old man who died as a result of burn injuries. The deceased has been named Dilbar Negi (22), whose corpse was purportedly burned by a rioting mob after his hands and feet were severed.

In the three-day-long rioting in northeast Delhi, at least 53 people were killed, and 200 were seriously injured.