Court orders framing of charges against four in Delhi riots

A Delhi court recently ordered the framing of charges against four accused held by the police in a case pertaining to the Delhi riots. The court, at the same time, discharged two persons stating that there was “no material evidence” against them and termed the police chargesheet as “highly objectionable” and “is deprecated.”

The case pertains to the Delhi riots in which according to the police, 6 accused were booked on the complaint filed by Kirti Raj Tiwari who runs an MCD parking near Ambedkar College. As per the FIR, in the afternoon of February 25, 2020, around 250 rioters came to the park, where the complainant was physically present, and started ransacking and burning tractors. The crowd fled as the complainant called the police control room and the police arrived.

The FIR further stated that the mob returned to the spot in the evening at around 4:30 p.m. and burned tractors and 5,5­60 fruit rehris in the parking. They also burnt a horse-carriage near the dispensary on the service road and ransacked one school bus.

The police, in the chargesheet, maintained that an informer spoke of the presence of Shahrukh, Ashwani, Ashu and Juber at the spot. The same was confirmed by the complainant, an eyewitness, as well as the CCTV footage.

While hearing the matter, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat ordered the framing of charges against the four persons saying that “on the basis of material on record, there are grounds for presuming that the accused persons have committed offences”

The court said that the four accused attracted multiple sections of the IPC, including Section 147 (punishment for rioting), Section 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), Section 427 (mischief causing damage), Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy building) read with Section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offence), section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC.

While discharging the two other accused named by the police in the same case, the court stated that they were identified on the basis of CCTV footage. Also, from the CCTV footage, it appears that these two accused were seen near the place of the incident and were proceeding towards the site. 

“The case pertains to a matter related to February 25 while the FSL report is on record that says that the CCTV footage from which the accused were identified pertains to February 24, a day before the incident. There is no murmur in the charge­sheet that it does not pertain to the day of the incident and has been presented as if the said CCTV footage pertains to the time and date to the incident of the present case,” the court said.

It added that there is no material on record whatsoever against the accused persons namely Kasim and Khalid Ansari except their disclosure statements.

“The reliance on the CCTV footage pertaining to 24.02.2020 in the present case of 25.02.2020, in the way it has been presented in the charge­sheet is highly objectionable and is deprecated,” the court said.  

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