2020 Delhi riots: Court discharges 3 of arson charge

Hearing a case related to the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, a court here on Tuesday discharged three accused of the offence of setting ablaze houses and shops.

The court, however, said the accused will face trial for other offences, including rioting and being members of an unlawful assembly.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing the case against Neeraj, Manish and Krishan, who were charged with various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sections 147 (rioting) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc.).

“All the three accused persons … are discharged of the offence punishable under section 436 of the IPC. Since other alleged offences are triable by the metropolitan magistrate, therefore, the case is remanded back to the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM), northeast district … to proceed further in accordance with the law in respect of the other alleged offences,” the judge said.

The judge noted that the initial chargesheet in the case was filed on the basis of 13 complaints received by police but subsequently, 10 complaints were allowed to be taken back due to the difference in the time and place of incidents and at present, only three complaints remain for prosecution.

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“According to the investigation report, all these incidents took place on February 24, 2020 and during further investigation, the investigating officer (IO) came to the conclusion that there was no incident of setting ablaze of any dwelling house or shop etc. Rather, in these incidents, the articles were burnt after taking them out on the road,” the judge said.

“For such reasons, in the supplementary chargesheet filed today, the IO has reported that the offence under section 436 of the IPC was not found committed in these three incidents, which are being prosecuted in this case now,” he added.

The Bhajanpura police station had registered an FIR against the accused under IPC sections 147, 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 380 (theft in dwelling house etc.), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to an amount of Rs 100 or upwards).

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