2020 Delhi riots: Court chastises Delhi police for filing erroneous’ charge sheets, discharges three accused

A Delhi sessions court, hearing a case of the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, has come down heavily on the city police for filing the charge sheet “in a predetermined, mechanical and erroneous manner,” and not investigating the incidents “properly and completely.”

The court discharged three accused in the case, and referred the matter back to the police for making an assessment of the investigation done and to take further action.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case against Akil Ahmad, Rahish Khan and Irshad, who were accused of being a part of a riotous mob that engaged in stone pelting, vandalism and arson on Wazirabad Road in Brijpuri on February 25, 2020.

“All the accused persons are discharged in this case. It is worth mentioning here that this order of discharge is being passed on account of realising that the reported incidents were not properly and completely investigated and that the chargesheets were filed in a predetermined, mechanical and erroneous manner, with subsequent actions to only cover up the initial wrong actions,” Pramachala said in an order passed on Wednesday.

“Hence, the matter is referred back to the police department to make an assessment of the investigation done in this case and to take further action in conformity with the law, to take the complaints to a legal and logical end,” he added.

Noting that there were several riotous mobs, the court said it was the Investigating Officer’s (IO’s) duty to find the composition of a mob during each of the rioting incidents.

“Therefore, the presence of accused persons in the riotous mob during each of the incidents probed in this case was required to be established,” it said.

The court said there was a “conflict” between the two sets of prosecution evidence which were relied upon to establish the date and time of the incidents being probed in the present case.

“One set of relied-upon evidence of the prosecution contradicts the subsequent set of evidence,” it said.

Besides, the evidence before the court was also silent on certain “vital aspects,” it said.

“In these circumstances, instead of having a grave suspicion against the accused persons for their involvement in the alleged incidents I am having suspicion for the IO having manipulated the evidence in the case, without actually investigating the reported incidents properly,” the judge said.

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