Delhi Court Sets Aside Order Discharging Ex-Congress MLA Asif Muhammad Khan, Others

A Delhi court on Tuesday set aside an order discharging former Congress MLA Asif Muhammad Khan and six others in a 12-year-old case of alleged rioting.

Special Judge Geetanjli Goel passed the order on an appeal filed against the order of a magisterial court discharging the accused in October 2022.

The judge sent the matter back to the magisterial court for framing charges against the accused under relevant sections.

The sessions judge said there were statements of public witnesses and also of police witnesses that could not be discarded, more so as police persons were also victims.’

From the material on record, including the statements of the witnesses, it was seen that there was sufficient material on record to prima facie make out a case for the offences against the accused persons, the judge said.

“Thus, the impugned order is clearly not as per the record and suffers from infirmities and illegalities and has been passed in a mechanical manner and is liable to be set aside,” the judge said.

According to the prosecution, Khan came to the police station, Jamia Nagar along with his 150-200 supporters and started raising slogans against then Rajya Sabha MP Parvez Hashmi, and a few of them came inside the police station and started putting pressure on the police officials to lodge an FIR.

When the details of the complaint were being noted down in the SHO room, Hashmi came to the police station with some of his supporters and on seeing them, supporters of Khan started sloganeering against Hashmi.

They also pelted stones at the walls of the police station and when the situation got out of control of the police staff, a warning was issued to all the people through aloud hailer asking them to disperse.

But the crowd did not listen and due to stone pelting, a few police personnel sustained injuries and several vehicles as well as the police station property was damaged, police had said.

A magisterial court on October 29, 2022 discharged the accused, stating that it was questionable whether Khan was the victim or an aggressor.

The metropolitan magistrate had also pointed to “serious discrepancies and infirmities” in the prosecution’s case.

“There is nothing on record to show Asif Mohammad Khan instigated the crowd and was part of the unlawful assembly… that he had obstructed police officials from doing their duties,” the court had observed.

An appeal was then filed before the sessions court against the magisterial court’s order.

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