8 Aug 2020 2:49 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court has refused to quash the order of the Special Commissioner of Police, dated July 8, which cited 'resentment among Hindu community' in the wake of arrests in Delhi riots cases to advise police officers to exercise due care while making arrests.A single bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that "no prejudiced has been caused" by the said direction as it was issued...
The Delhi High Court has refused to quash the order of the Special Commissioner of Police, dated July 8, which cited 'resentment among Hindu community' in the wake of arrests in Delhi riots cases to advise police officers to exercise due care while making arrests.
A single bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that "no prejudiced has been caused" by the said direction as it was issued after accused persons have been chargesheeted.
The Court was considering a writ petition filed by Sahil Parvez and Mohammad Saeed Salman, whose father and mother, respectively, were killed in the riots which took place in North East parts of Delhi in the last week of February 2020.
The Court noted that the cases related to the Delhi riots were registered before the issuance of the impugned letter on July 8. It also noted that charge sheets have been filed in many cases and that till date 535 Hindus and 513 Muslims have been charge-sheeted in all the cases.
In this backdrop, the Court observed that no prejudice has been caused by the letter.
"Since in my considered opinion, the accused persons have already been chargesheeted before issuance of letter dated 08.07.2020, no prejudice has been caused", the Court observed.
Media reports against the spirit of the letter
The Court further observed that the media reports about the letter were contrary to its spirit.
"Therefore, it is suggested that media being the fourth pillar of democracy, news should be clear after verifying the facts so that no prejudice is caused to anyone or hatred is spread among communities in this country", the Court said.
The letter came to light following a report published in 'The Indian Express' titled "Resentment in Hindus on arrests, take care: Special CP to probe teams". After this report created a furore, the Delhi police published a clarification in Twitter on July 15.
Delhi Police's Rejoinder to the above News Article 👇 pic.twitter.com/qk7PVflZGx— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) July 15, 2020
Delhi Police's Rejoinder to the above News Article 👇 pic.twitter.com/qk7PVflZGx
The Petitioners sought to quash the order on the ground that it reflected bias on the part of the police. Advocate Mehmood Pracha, representing the petitioners, claimed that the July 8 order amounts to unlawful and illegal interference in the performance of investigative functions by police officers.
In the previous hearing on July 31, Justice Kait had orally observed that the order was "mischievous" and asked what was the need to issue the same.
"Tell me what was the need to issue this letter", the judge had asked then and adjourned the hearing till August 7 for the response of Delhi police.
'Mischievous': Delhi HC On Delhi Police Direction To Avoid 'Hindu Resentment' While Making Arrests In Riots Cases
On August 7, Mr Amit Mahajan, appearing for Delhi police, informed the court that till date 535 Hindus and 513 Muslims have been charge-sheeted in all the cases. It was stated that the first paragraph of the order was based on the input received from intelligence in writing and the second paragraph was the instructions to the subordinate officers stating that due care and precaution be taken while arresting any person.
Though the Court refused to quash the order, it clarified that the Investigating Officers should not take into consideration the direction in it that evidence must be discussed with Special PPs assigned to each case.
This was after Mr.Chetan Sharma, Additional Solicitor General and Mr. Mahajan, SPP conceded that neither in Cr.P.C. nor under any other provision of law there is any mention of requirement for such a discussion of evidence with the Prosecutors at the stage of the investigation.
The court further clarified that the subordinate courts shall not get influenced by the observations made by this court in disposing of the present petition.
Click here to download the order