7 April 2023 5:02 AM GMT
The trial in the UAPA case alleging a larger conspiracy in the 2020 North-East Delhi riots is likely to commence soon as a Delhi Court has concluded the stage of supply of documents under section 207 of CrPC in respect of the accused persons, except Devangana Kalita. This would mean that the trial court will now proceed to the stage of framing of charges against 18 accused persons, more than...
The trial in the UAPA case alleging a larger conspiracy in the 2020 North-East Delhi riots is likely to commence soon as a Delhi Court has concluded the stage of supply of documents under section 207 of CrPC in respect of the accused persons, except Devangana Kalita.
This would mean that the trial court will now proceed to the stage of framing of charges against 18 accused persons, more than two years after the proceedings in the case began in September 2020 with the filing of the first chargesheet.
The Delhi police has filed a total of four chargesheets in FIR 59/2020 which is being probed by the special cell. While the first chargesheet was filed on September 16, 2020, three supplementary chargesheets were filed on November 22, 2020, February 24, 2021 and March 02, 2022.
On April 05, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Courts closed the aspect of compliance under section 207 of CrPC for 17 accused, except Kalita.
The accused are Tahir Hussain, Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, Isharat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd. Saleem Khan, Athar Khan, Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, Faizan Khan and Natasha Narwal.
Section 207 of CrPC provides that the concerned Magistrate shall provide the copies of documents or relevant material relied upon by the prosecution free of cost to the accused “without any delay.” The documents include police report, FIR, statements of all persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses, confessions and statements or any other relevant document.
The purpose of the provision is to make the accused familiar with the relevant charges brought against him or her by the prosecution and to ensure that the documents relied upon against the accused is fully disclosed to the individual.
The court said that the compliance for the accused Tahir Hussain, Tasleem Ahmad, Saleem Malik, Ishrat Jahan, Faizan, Shifa- ur-Rehman and Natasha Narwal is “deemed to be completed” as they never filed any application seeking documents under section 207.
It also noted that the compliance of documents for Sharjeel Imam was already completed on February 07.
However, the counsels representing Umar Khalid and Shadab Ahmad submitted that the compliance is complete except for the issue of relied and unrelied documents.
It was contended that the prosecution has to supply the unrelied documents which was not done yet. Similar issue was raised by the lawyers appearing for Saleem Khan, Gulfisha Fatima, Athar Khan, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider.
On behalf of Khalid Saifi, it was submitted that the compliance is complete except for the issue of excessive redaction of statements of the protected witnesses and supply of video recordings of statements of unprotected and protected witnesses with necessary redactions.
All the counsels submitted that at the pre-charge stage, all unrelied documents seized by the probe agency need to be supplied to the accused persons as they are necessary in the interest of justice and for preparing of a defence.
Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, on the other hand, contended that only a list of unrelied documents have to be filed but not at the present stage.
Passing the order on compliance, the court said that it has been held in various judgments that the pre-charge stage is not the stage for filing of list of unrelied statements and documents and that the same would be filed after the charges are framed at trial stage.
“In view of the above discussion, the aspect of compliance under Section 207 Cr.P.C as regards of all accused persons except accused Devangana Kalita is disposed off,” the court said.