A Delhi Court has discharged six men of the charges of dacoity in relation to a 2020 riots case while upholding other charges of rioting and unlawful assembly against them.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala also discharged the accused namely Sumit, Naresh, Uday Singh, Darshan, Vinod Kumar and Devraj of the charge under sec. 436 of the Indian Penal Code which is the offence of committing mischief by fire or explosive substance with the intent to destroy house.
The Judge upheld the charges under sec. 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 392 (Punishment for robbery), 454 (Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 435 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 380 (Theft in dwelling house etc) and 34 of the IPC.
The development came in FIR 256 of 2020 registered at Khajuri Khas police station alleging that an unlawful assembly was formed in order to damage the property of others as well as to commit looting, arsoning etc.
The FIR was registered upon the complaint of one Shahid, who alleged that his shop, which had a cash of Rs.95,000 apart from other articles, was looted. It was alleged that the mob also damaged the articles, brought the same outside the shop and set those articles on fire.
During further investigation, the police had found different witnesses and recorded their statements. One of the witnesses also handed over a video showing the mob. Two police officials had also identified several accused persons and thus, on the basis of identification, the accused were chargesheeted.
The Court noted that the complainant was not present at his shop, when the incident took place and that there was no allegation of extortion. The Judge thus opined that at the most, it can be said to be a case of theft.
"However, the said theft did not get colour of robbery because complainant was not physically present there and hence, there was no occasion of getting hurt or being wrongfully restrained or being in fear of instant death, hurt, wrongful restraint etc," the Court said.
It added "In the initial complaint, complainant stated that he had left for his home. Though, in the supplementary statement, he came up with modified version to show his presence somewhere outside his shop, but even in this statement, he did not make any such complaint or allegation, which could satisfy the criteria laid down u/s 390 IPC, in order to make this theft, a robbery."
Accordingly, the Court was of the view that the accused cannot be charged for the offence of dacoity as the requisite ingredients were not satisfied from the allegations and statement made by complainant or other witnesses.
"Accused persons are hereby, discharged for offences punishable u/s 395 IPC as well as 436 IPC in this case. Since the other alleged offences are triable by ld. MM, therefore, case is remanded back to ld. CMM (North East), Karkardooma Courts, Delhi to proceed further in this case in accordance with law," the Court ordered.
Title: State v. Vinay etc.