Delhi Riots: Court Pulls Up Delhi Police For Filing 'Predetermined' Chargesheets, Suspects Manipulation Of Evidence; Discharges 3
While discharging three men in a case relating to the 2020 North-East Delhi riots, a Delhi Court said it is suspicious that the investigating officer of the Delhi Police “manipulated evidence” and filed chargesheets in a “predetermined and mechanical manner”.“It is worth to mention here that this order of discharge is being passed on account of realizing that the reported incidents...
While discharging three men in a case relating to the 2020 North-East Delhi riots, a Delhi Court said it is suspicious that the investigating officer of the Delhi Police “manipulated evidence” and filed chargesheets in a “predetermined and mechanical manner”.
“It is worth to mention here that this order of discharge is being passed on account of realizing that the reported incidents were not properly and completely investigated and that the chargesheets were filed in predetermined, mechanical and erroneous manner, with subsequent actions to only cover up the initial wrong actions,” Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma Courts said.
The judge referred the matter back to the Delhi Police to make assessment of the investigation done in the case, to take further action in conformity with law and to bring the complaints to a legal and logical end.
“…instead of having a grave suspicion against the accused persons for their involvement in the alleged incidents as reported by four complainants as well as for their involvement in the incidents as observed by ASI Surender Pal in the rukka, I am having suspicion for IO having manipulated the evidence in the case, without actually investigating the reported incidents properly,” the court said.
The judge discharged Akil Ahmad alias Papad, Rahish Khan, and Irshad who were accused of rioting, being members of an unlawful assembly and committing vandalism during the riots.
FIR 71/2020 was registered at Dayalpur police station on the basis of a rukka prepared by an ASI on February 28, 2020. Later, the IO clubbed several complaints made by Farooq Ahmad, Shahbaz Malik, Nadeem Farooq and Jai Shankar Sharma in the case.
Chargesheet was filed against the three accused persons on July 14, 2020, and cognizance of the same was taken on December 09, 2020. Thereafter, two supplementary chargesheets were filed on February 15, 2022, and February 16 this year, along with certain documents and fresh statements.
Regarding the first supplementary chargesheet, the judge said that the IO chargesheeted three different individuals as accused persons who were not named in the statement given by a constable.
“Apparently at the time of preparing this chargesheet, names of chargesheeted accused persons were no where mentioned anywhere in any evidence related to identification of the culprits. Their names were only mentioned by the police witnesses of FIR No.84/20, wherein these accused persons were initially arrested by Insp. Ashish Kumar,” the court said.
Furthermore, it said that till the time court started raising questions over date and time of incidents clubbed in the matter, the IO’s stand as reflected from main and the first supplementary chargesheets remained that except for one, all other incidents as reported by different complainants took place in the intervening night of February 24-25, 2020.
“It was a rare kind of coincidence that all these different complainants suffered same kind of problem i.e. shock/trauma for reporting wrong date and time in their complaints and realizing such trauma after around three years from making their respective complaints, in order to give a changed version of date and time of the alleged incidents. Such developments and the alleged trauma need to be appreciated in the background of proceedings taken place in this case,” the judge said.
The court also observed that there was no reporting to police at the time of clubbing the complaints that the same mob was indulging into vandalism and arson since the intervening night, till the time of information recorded in the morning of February 25, 2020.
“Therefore, when there were specific observations of ASI Surender Pal regarding criminal acts seen by him while visiting the place near Victoria Public School on 25.02.2020 after 09:50 AM, only those cause of action could have been taken up for investigation in this case, which had connection with the incidents mentioned in the rukka. There could not have been any presumption that the mob active during intervening night of 24/25.02.2020, was the mob during reporting of information vide DD No.14-A,” the court said.
It added that subsequent statements of the complainants were recorded, only to cover up the lacuna in the prosecution case and to justify chargesheeting the accused persons in the matter. The court also said that the IO did not come up with any evidence to show that the subsequent statements were correct.
“If, I look into the subsequent statements in the back drop of above-mentioned developments taken place during court proceedings, then I do find it more probable that the subsequent statements based on rare kind of same coincidence taking place with four different person (as already mentioned herein above), were artificially prepared with only objective to cover up the lacuna and mindless action of chargesheeting accused persons in this case,” the judge said.