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Delhi Court Upholds Cancellation of Anticipatory Bail for Rajan Kumar @ Ashu Chauhan

Case title: RAJAN KUMAR @ ASHU CHAUHAN VS STATE OF N.C.T OF DELHI

Case no: BAIL APPLN. No.2112/2023 & CRL.M.A. 16653/2023 (Stay)

Dated on: May 21, 2024

Quorum: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE AMIT SHARMA

Fact of the case:

The case involves an application for anticipatory bail filed by Rajan Kumar @ Ashu Chauhan under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. On 24th September 2022, two PCR calls were received by PS Vasant Kunj (South) regarding a quarrel and subsequent medical examination of the injured at ISIC Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Members of the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Vasant Kunj Enclave were holding a peaceful demonstration outside Calvin Studio & Gym. Later, they were confronted by Rajan Kumar @ Ashu Chauhan and his associates. After the RWA members returned to their meeting place, the petitioner, along with his associates, allegedly arrived with weapons and assaulted Manoj Arya, Manish Agarwal, and Naveen Chander Bhatt. The assault led to grievous injuries and the theft of two gold chains and two mobile phones from the victims. CCTV footage collected from the vicinity showed the arrival and involvement of the petitioner and approximately 30 associates in the incident. The footage also showed the presence of police personnel who did not intervene. The court reviewed substantial evidence, including CCTV footage and witness statements, leading to the consideration of the current application for anticipatory bail.

 Issues framed by court:

Whether the petitioner should be granted anticipatory bail considering the nature of the allegations and the evidence presented?

Whether the petitioner violated the conditions of the previous anticipatory bail granted on 19th October 2022?

Whether the anticipatory bail granted earlier should be cancelled due to these alleged violations?

Legal provisions:

Section 438 of the Cr.P.C.: Deals with the provision for anticipatory bail.

Relevant Sections of the IPC: Sec. 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), Sec. 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), Sec.341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), Sec. 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), Sec.509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), Sec.379 (Punishment for theft), Sec.452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), Sec.147 (Punishment for rioting), Sec.148 (Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), Sec.149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offense committed in prosecution of common object), Sec.34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

Section 30 of the Arms Act, 1959: Punishment for contravention of license or rule.

 Contentions of Appellant:

The petitioner denied all allegations of assault and theft. He claimed that he was not involved in the incident in the manner described by the prosecution. He contended that he complied with the conditions set during the previous anticipatory bail and that the alleged violations were either misunderstandings or minor infractions that do not warrant the cancellation of bail. He assured the court that he would continue to cooperate with the investigation and would not interfere with witnesses or tamper with evidence.

Contentions of Respondents:

The respondent argued that the nature of the offenses, including assault, theft, and intimidation, is severe and justifies denying anticipatory bail. The prosecution presented evidence that the petitioner had violated the conditions of his previous anticipatory bail by visiting the area and conducting meetings without prior intimation to the investigating officer, and by allegedly threatening local residents. The respondent emphasized that the petitioner posed a threat to the witnesses, as evidenced by his actions post-grant of bail, and that his bail should be cancelled to prevent further intimidation or interference in the investigation.

 Court analysis & Judgement:

The court reviewed the evidence, including the statements of victims, witness testimonies, and CCTV footage that corroborated the presence and involvement of the petitioner in the incident. The court found substantial evidence that the petitioner had violated the conditions of the anticipatory bail granted on 19th October 2022, which mandated that he not visit the area without prior intimation and that he refrain from intimidating witnesses. The court concluded that the petitioner’s actions posed a significant risk to the integrity of the investigation and the safety of witnesses.

The court dismissed and disposed of the application for anticipatory bail and upheld the cancellation of the previously granted anticipatory bail. The court directed that the petitioner be taken into custody, highlighting the need to ensure a fair and uninfluenced investigation.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Antara Ghosh

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