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"Investigate Without Fear Or Influence": High Court Tells Delhi Police Probing Death Of Man Forced To Sing National Anthem During Riots

Nupur Thapliyal
15 March 2022 12:45 PM GMT
Investigate Without Fear Or Influence: High Court Tells Delhi Police Probing Death Of Man Forced To Sing National Anthem During Riots
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the city police to conduct further investigation without any fear or influence, in the case of 23 year old Faizan, who was forced to sing the national anthem during the Delhi riots that erupted in the year 2020.The incident relates to a video that had gone viral wherein Faizan could be seen allegedly being beaten by the police while being forced to sing...

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the city police to conduct further investigation without any fear or influence, in the case of 23 year old Faizan, who was forced to sing the national anthem during the Delhi riots that erupted in the year 2020.

The incident relates to a video that had gone viral wherein Faizan could be seen allegedly being beaten by the police while being forced to sing the national anthem and 'Vande Mataram'.

While listing the matter for further hearing after eight weeks, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh orally told the Delhi Police thus:

"Two years back the incident had taken place. The Court has no ground to disbelieve the highest officer of the police, your IPS rank officer. You are responsible person but I am directing you, without influence from any side, you have to investigate the matter as per the mandate of CrPC as well as Delhi Police Rules and Regulations."

The Court was dealing with a plea filed by Kismatun, Faizan's mother, seeking a SIT probe into her son's death. Kismatun claims in her plea that the police had illegally detained her son and denied him critical health care as a result of which he succumbed to injuries on February 26, 2020.

During the course of hearing today, Advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for the petitioner took the Court through the facts of the case.

She referred to an earlier order passed by Justice Mukta Gupta wherein the Court had questioned the police over confusion and discrepancies with regards to increase in the number of injuries in the MLC which was prepared prior to the deceased's detention in police custody and the post mortem report.

In this backdrop, stating that there was a disparity in the injuries reflected in the MLC and post mortem report, Grover submitted thus:

"In the intervening period, I am in PS Jyoti Nagar and that is not denied. It's admitted by other side. The number of injuries in post mortem is many more."

"I have specifically asked for DD registers, GDRs, documents which are in the custody of relevant police station."

While the Court asked the police if such documents have been preserved, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad apprised the Court that the documents have been preserved except the document pertaining to the the CCTV camera which was present inside the police station on the date in question, as it was damaged. He added that a complaint was also filed in that regard on the same day supported by a DD entry.

He also submitted that while the CCTV camera was not working at all, the hard disk for the same has been seized.

"What is relevant is, there are chain of events that have happened. These boys were apprehended and whatever happened there, immediately thereafter, SHO Jyoti Nagar comes in his gypsy and he rescues these people and takes them to the hospital. Out of five people, two were admitted in the hospital. Three including deceased were discharged after preliminary treatment. Preliminary treatment shows there were certain injuries and post mortem says they were stitched injuries. Therefore the injuries were treated. Other two people who were brought back to PS along with Faizan, they have given sec. 161 CrPC statement clearly stating that SHO has rescued us from there, took us to GTB hospital and thereafter brought back to police station. One of them didn't want to go back. The other one is taken by his family. The other two including Faizan is taken to police station," he apprised the Court.

Prasad also added that one of the persons who was present inside the police station on the relevant date did not speak of any kind of violence.

Accordingly, he submitted that a detailed status report was filed stating as to how the police will be identifying the person who was beating the boys at the spot.

"So far as TIP, we have to get TIP of all persons involved. We are doing investigation," Prasad submitted.

At the outset, Grover told the Court that the recent status report submitted in the matter states that the earlier statement made by the police regarding the information of CCTV footage given by the concerned police station was false.

"Why would a police station be misleading Investigation is what they are looking at now," she argued.

To this, Prasad argued "We have identified some people. That confirmation has to happen. The reason we are not going with arrest is that once the confirmation from all angles happens."

While the DCP concerned was trying to intervene in the matter, the Court orally told him thus:

"The petition has been filed for proper investigation, without influence from anything. Whatever important person is involved, you have to complete the investigation without any influence. This is the purpose of keeping the petition pending. I am not here to interfere in any manner to the investigation investigated by the investigating agency. If I saw anything hanky panky in the status report, then I can interfere."

Responding to Court's query as to why the chargesheet in the case has not been filed even after a period of two years, the DCP responded that the police had found certain technical evidences in the form of CCTV footages and that further efforts are continued to complete the investigation. He added that the agency is trying to identify the concerned persons and necessary action will be taken accordingly.

At the outset, Court remarked thus:

"Not legal action. As per the CrPC. Legal action is a very mild thing because they are criminals, they will be dealt with by criminal law. You also understand that one son of the mother died. I am not commenting how and where because this is under investigation but it has to be taken very seriously."

Grover then apprised the Court that while the petitioner mother claims that there are not one but two scenes of crime in the incident, the police was not investigating the other crime scene despite her statement.

"I have taken my injured son home that night. My son has narrated to me what has happened. All this I have given in my statement. Why the investigation is reluctant yo be expanded to where the documents are, where I was kept overnight, where the cctv by a curious incident doesn't work on the relevant date. And in fact, as they have themselves investigated and found, it was not till date sent a notice for CCTV footage that the repair was asked for. Now whether it was actually dysfunctional or not, I have no way of knowing," Grover argued.

To this, Justice Singh told the Police to consider the suggestions put forth by the petitioner in the writ petition in case the same are helpful to the investigating agency.

"Take the suggestion whatever she has given in the writ petition. Take that area also to investigate that," Justice Singh said.

He added "Please do (investigation) without any fear or influence and for purpose of justice of victim, whatever suggestion she has given in the writ petition or status report, you can take it for purpose of Investigation."

Accordingly, the matter was posted to further hearing on May 11.

The Petitioner was represented by Advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee.

Earlier, the Court had questioned the delay in investigating by the Delhi Police in the matter after which it had sought a detailed status report in the probe under the signature of the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Previously, the court had directed the police to file an affidavit with information about the CCTV cameras' functioning in the relevant month and about the preservation of relevant documents.

The Police had also told the court that they had failed to establish the identity of the officers in the video footage as they were wearing helmets and did not have name plates.

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