Delhi Court slams police for wasting its time with hearsay evidence, seeks reply from Commissioner

A Delhi court hearing a case related to the communal riots that broke out in the city in 2020 has noted certain police officials investigating the case wasted its time by filing reports based on hearsay.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala made the observation hearing a case registered by the Gokalpuri Police Station against three accused and sought a reply from the Police Commissioner.

During the proceedings on Thursday, the judge noted that the present Investigation Officer, or IO, filed an application seeking permission to conduct further investigations to ascertain the exact time and date of the incidents clubbed with the main FIR.

He noted that on January 19 this year the court directed the prosecution to show the date and time of each incident clubbed in the case.

“It is well apparent that after getting such direction and making an appraisal of the record of this case, the present IO found that the relevant witnesses were not examined by the previous IOs and the given time of incidents was based on hearsay evidence,” the court said.

Underlining that the case needed “concrete evidence,” the court allowed the application but denounced the approach of the police officials concerned.

“It is very painful that previous IOs literally wasted the time of this court, by filing reports of investigation based on hearsay evidence. If one goes through the orders passed in this case at least since September 7, 2022, to date, it will be apparent how time was bought on behalf of previous IOs to come up with a concrete report of investigation,” the court said.

ASJ Pramachala raised doubts about the “quality” of the supplementary charge sheet in the face of the present application filed by the IO.

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“Therefore, the matter is referred to the Commissioner of Police to initiate inquiry at the level of the department in respect of the conduct of previous IOs, in making investigations in this case and in buying time from the court in the name of coming up with a concrete report of investigation till date,” he said.

“It is also expected that the officials concerned must be sensitised to at least not waste the court’s time on false pretexts,” the judge said.

Listing the matter for further proceedings on December 13, the judge said he would expect an acknowledgement from the office of the Police Commissioner regarding the court’s observations.

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