Applications of accused to check Delhi riot case status frivolous: Prosecution

The prosecution on Tuesday termed as “frivolous,” “speculative,” and “presumptive” the applications of some accused filed to know the status of the investigation in a case pertaining to the alleged conspiracy behind the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat was hearing the applications filed by accused Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Meeran Haider, and Athar Khan. Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad said each application fails to disclose any provision in law which could allow their prayers.

He said the applications were “frivolous” as they were beyond the ambit of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

“These prayers are speculative and presumptive These prayers go on the assumption that framing of charges attains finality,” he said.

On judgments cited by the accused in their applications, the SPP said none of the verdicts gives any power to entertain the application in this manner, nor any power to go beyond the CrPC.

“Applications are nothing but attempts to derail the trial,” the SPP said.

Earlier, in their applications filed on Monday, Haider wanted to know from the Delhi Police whether the investigation in the matter was complete, while Khan sought deferment or adjournment of the arguments on charges till the completion of the investigation.

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On September 14, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha had sought a direction to the investigating agency to clarify the status of their investigation in the case lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), before arguments start on whether to frame the charges.

ASJ Rawat has posted the matter for Friday for further proceedings.

The accused have been booked under anti-terror UAPA and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being the “masterminds” of the February 2020 riots, which left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during the week US President Donald Trump was on a visit to India.

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