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Red Fort violence case: Delhi court rejects plea seeking police custody of Deep Sidhu

ANI | Updated: Apr 20, 2021 01:46 IST

New Delhi [India], April 20 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday said that a professional investigating agency like the Crime Branch should not work in a manner that any ill will or mala fide may be imputed on them.
This comment from the court came while refusing a Delhi Police plea seeking four-day custodial interrogation of actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu in connection with a case relating to violence at Red Fort on Republic Day.
The court said, "The work of an investigating agency is to impartially investigate the matter. It is not appropriate that they would investigate the matter with any kind of vendetta against any person who may be accused of any heinous offence."
The court noted after perusal of both the FIRs, it appears that role imputed to the accused is the same in both the FIRs, though, both the FIRs were registered on the complaints of different complainants.
"It is correctly stated by Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) for the State that Investigating Officer (IO) is within his prerogative to arrest a person at any time he so wishes. However despite knowing that the accused wanted in this matter has been lodged in judicial custody since February 9, 2021, he was arrested only March 17, 2021 when granted bail in the previous matter, this clearly suggests that police officials are just trying to negate the order of bail granted to the accused," the court said.
The court said that the police is at liberty to investigate the accused in judicial custody to unearth the conspiracy behind the offence.
The court also said that police custody remand cannot be granted to trace a co-accused. "It is to be noted that there are a number of co-accused in the present matter and police custody(PC) remand cannot be taken to arrest each and every one of them. It is for the police to establish the identity of the other accused persons and to arrest them from their hideouts. No PC remand is required for pointing out the place of incident as police are already aware of the place of incident and no new fact is going to be emerged from pointing out the place of incident," the court said.
The court also noted Sidhu had already been investigated qua his mobile phone and SIM used at the time of the incident and in these circumstances, no ground made out to allow the present application for four-day police custody remand of the accused.
Meanwhile, Sidhu has moved his bail application before Delhi court in the Republic Day violence case and it would be heard on Friday.

Earlier on the day, Delhi Police urged the Delhi court to grant four-day police custody of Sidhu, in another Republic Day violence case. During the hearing, the Delhi court questioned the police for arresting Sidhu in another case just after he got bail in a separate case saying "kya aapko ye ajeeb nahi lagta" (Don't you feel strange).
The Public Prosecutor responded that it is the prerogative of the investigating agency and law is clear that theInvestigating Officer has the right to take police custody of the accused to conduct a proper investigation.
Delhi Police also told the court that from the investigation conducted so far from the perusal of the available CCTV footage and videos, it has revealed that the accused was an active member of the larger conspiracy and he is one of the main instigators.
The police has maintained that the custodial interrogation of Sidhu was required to unearth the conspiracy behind the offence, to trace the other co-accused, to get pointing out of the place of incidents and to collect further evidence in the case such as mobiles and SIM used at the time of the incident. The police said that they want to identify the other conspirators who were with him and question him over his videos with Jugraj Singh, the man who allegedly hoisted the Sikh Flag at Red Fort.
Addressing the court, Sidhu himself made the submission that he was in the same office and this team was also investigated during the remand. He also submitted that he will co-operate fully and they can have whatever number of hours with him in judicial custody.
Sidhu's counsel Abhishek Gupta and Jasdeep Singh Dhillon opposed the police custody remand saying that any single day of incarceration is in violation of his fundamental rights.
On Sunday, Sidhu was remanded to one-day judicial custody. A Duty Magistrate in Tihar Jail on Sunday said that the remand hearing of the actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, an accused in the Republic Day violence case will be heard by the concerned magistrate on Monday.
Sidhu was arrested in this case on Saturday just he was granted bail by a Delhi court in a case relating to violence in Red Fort during the farmers' tractor rally on January 26.
As per the statement issued by Sidhu's lawyer Abhishek Gupta on Saturday, the actor was arrested on February 9 in connection with an FIR registered at PS Kotwali for alleged involvement in Red Fort violence.
"He was granted regular bail vide order dated 16.04.21 which was communicated to us today. However, around 1 PM to 1.30 PM, before he could be released from jail, he was arrested in FIR 98/21 also registered by PS Kotwali and in respect of the same incident at Red Fort," said Gupta.
"The need and timing of the arrest are extremely questionable and it is a grave affront to personal liberty of an individual and runs foul of rights guaranteed under Article 21. Hopefully, we are given an opportunity tomorrow before the concerned Magistrate to seek his release u/s.167 CrPC against illegal arrest in light of Arnesh Kumar judgment and many others of the apex court. The opportunity of being heard is also a fundamental right," he added. (ANI)