A Delhi Court on Friday framed charges against former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain and 5 others in a case relating to the North East Delhi riots of 2020 (FIR 114/2020 PS Khajuri Khas).
While doing so, it observed that Hussain was not a mute spectator but was taking active part in the riots and instigating the members of the unlawful assembly to teach lesson to the persons belonging to other community.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat observed that prima facie there was an agreement between all of them to commit vandalization and arson in the properties belonging to Hindu community from the building belonging to Tahir Hussain and that elaborate preparations had been done to fulfill the object of the agreement or conspiracy.
"Tahir Hussain's house throwing stone, patrol bombs etc. from there. It is, thus, evident that the accused Tahir Hussain was not only a mere conspirator but an active rioter also. He was not a mute spectator but was taking active part in the riots and instigating the other members of the unlawful assembly to teach lesson to the persons belonging to other community," the Court said.
Charges have been framed against the accused persons under sec. 120B, 147, 148, 427, 435, 436, 395 and 149 of IPC. Additional charges under sec. 109 and 114 IPC have also liable to be framed against Tahir Hussain.
Apart from Hussain, charges have also been framed against five others namely Anas, Firoz, Javed, Gulfam and Shoaib Alam.
It was the case of the prosecution that the accused had hatched a conspiracy with the object of which was to commit riots in Khajuri Khas area thereby targeting the people belonging to Hindu community as well as their properties and in pursuance to the object of the conspiracy. It was alleged that they had formed an unlawful assembly on 25.02.2020, which was being led by accused Tahir Hussain and which vandalized and set ablaze a godown owned by the complainant Karan
The complainant Karan had submitted his complaint in the police station on 27.02.2020 on the basis of which FIR was registered on the same day and the investigation. However, the investigation was later on transferred to a SIT Crime Branch.
It was found that the crime spot was at a distance of about 50-60 meters from the Building owned by accused Tahir Hussain. Some residue or remains of the debris as well as stones, bricks, broken bottles as well as pieces of burnt articles were alleged to be found lying on the main Karawal Nagar Road. It was found during the course of the investigation that the building of Tahir Hussain was allegedly used by the rioters including the accused herein for brick bating. stone pelting, pelting of petrol bombs, acid bombs etc.
The prosecution thus alleged Tahir Hussain, who was the Municipal Councillor of the area, was leading the riotous mob from his house and also from the Mosque near Chand Bagh Pulia.
It was stated that he provoked and instigated Muslims against the Hindus and gave riots a communal colour in order to promote enmity between the members of the two religions. It was also stated that on the provocation of Tahir Hussain, Muslims turned violent and started pelting stones, petrol bombs etc. on the persons belonging to Hindu community as well as burning their shops or houses.
Thus, it was alleged that it was in this process that the godown of the complainant was vandalized, ransacked and set ablaze.
The Judge observed that it would be farcical and preposterous to say that the smaller conspiracy alleged in the present case, the object of which was to cause destruction and arson of properties belonging to Hindus in Khajuri Khas area including godown owned by the complainant Karan, was same as the larger conspiracy forming subject matter of the case FIR No. 59/2020.
"It can be said that the localized conspiracy involved in the instant case had emerged out of the larger conspiracy alleged in case FIR No. 59/2020 and the same may also turn out be a part of such larger conspiracy but the fact of the matter is that both conspiracies had been hatched at different places, at different times, by different persons and with distinct objects in the mind," the Court observed.
It added that the separate agreements between the "local players" as between accused Tahir Hussain and remaining five accused, would be construed as separate conspiracies even though they appear to have emanated from the main larger conspiracy.
"A contrary view would not only be unconscionable but also legally as well as factually impermissible. In that case there should have been only one FIR and one single charge-sheet with regards to all the riotous incidents that had taken place between 24.02.2020 and 26.02.2020 instead of more than 700 FIRS which have been registered by the police in the aftermath of the riots. That would clearly have been an absolute miscarriage of justice," the Court observed further.
Title: State v. Tahir Hussain & Ors.