2020 Delhi riots case: Court pulls up SI for incomplete investigation, refers matter to police commissioner

A court here has deprecated the Investigating Officer in a case related to the 2020 northeast Delhi riots for his “casual and unprofessional conduct”, and referred the matter to Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora for appraisal of the investigation.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case registered by the Khajuri Khas police station under various offences, including rioting, theft, robbery and arson, against some persons.

“I deem it fit to refer this matter to the Commissioner of Police in order to make an appraisal of the investigation done by SI Vipin Kumar in this case as well as conduct of misreporting the facts to his higher officer,” the judge said in an order passed last week.

Ten complaints are clubbed in the case and the court had earlier on May 1 sought clarification from the Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) regarding the time of each incident along with the relevant evidence.

“Matter is referred to DCP to make an assessment of investigation done by the initial IO (Kumar), who did not place on record sufficient material to show what exact investigation was done qua each complaint and to show with reference to the admissible piece of evidence, the time of each such incident, and the basis of pointing out the finger towards the accused persons for each of these incidents,” the court said in its earlier order.

During the subsequent proceedings on May 10, the judge said according to the DCP’s report, the officer had called for a report from the IO and as it was not found specific, the present station house officer (SHO) and Kumar were directed to provide the court with a more specific synopsis.

Also, the assistant commissioner of police and SHO of the Khajuri Khas police station were directed to review the entire case and if required, ensure further investigation by another IO, the judge said noting the report.

The judge said SI Kumar had mentioned in his report to the superior officer that one of the complainants Sameeja had said a mob had torched houses on February 25, 2020, at 11:am.

The judge noted although 10 complaints were clubbed in the case, the charge sheet and the statement of witnesses did not mention the time of several incidents.

“Though IO clubbed 10 complaints in this case, but in several other complaints and statements of such victims, no time of the incident was mentioned,” the judge said.

The ASJ said this scenario besides being an example of a “casual approach” to the investigation, also points to the “manner in which complaints of various complainants were hushed up” by Kumar.

“The objectionable approach of SI does not end here. He adventured to report wrong facts to the DCP, so as to say that complainant Sameeja mentioned the time of 11:am in her complaint,” the judge said.

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“Since SI Vipin Kumar is not working in the control of DCP (northeast) now and since his continuation of casual and unprofessional conduct is being witnessed by this court, I deem it fit to refer this matter to the Commissioner of Police,” the judge added.

The judge underlined that the time of the incident was the “most essential part to be investigated,” and the court was unable to frame charges because of the “incomplete investigation done so far.”

As the time of the incidents were not investigated, the court could not look into the evidence for the incidents to find the complicity of the accused, the judge said.

“The SHO and present IO are directed to take expeditious steps to ensure that further investigation is completed at the earliest possible time. During their further investigation, they must take care of questions already raised by this court,” the judge said.

The matter has been posted for further proceedings on July 20.

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