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Court asks Delhi Police to probe if attempt was made to shield five accused in NE Delhi violence

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat had discharged the men accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man's house and a medical store during the riots, due to lack of evidence

Sabrangindia 24 Nov 2021

Delhi Court
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

Earlier this year, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat had discharged the five men who were accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man's house and a medical store during the North East Delhi violence. Now, on November 24, a Delhi court has ordered the Delhi Police to investigate if a “deliberate attempt” had been made to shield five men who were discharged.

The five men were accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man’s house and a medical store, according to police, rioters also took away medicines and cosmetics worth about Rs 22-23 lakh from the store. However, the court said that as the accused were let off due to lack of evidence, northeast DCP has been ordered to conduct an enquiry into the “manner in which the investigation was conducted by the Investigating Officer (IO) in this case to find out whether or not there had been any deliberate attempt to shield the offenders.” According to news reports, the court said that the “accused were not discharged because the incident did not take place or that they were falsely implicated.” According to the report, the court had relied on Supreme Court guidelines while dealing with the evidence pertaining to the commission of an offence involving a large number of offenders and a large number of victims. 

ASJ Bhat said that “in order to convict a person, at least two prosecution witnesses have to support and identify the role and involvement of the accused persons.” However in this case, only the complainant was a prosecution witness who did not identify any members of the mob at the time of the incident, but did so when he was shown their photographs by the police, reported IE. The court then “discharged the accused for lack of sufficient evidence.” However, the court noted that material on record does clearly indicate that a riotous incident has taken place and observed, “This court is not insensitive towards the mental agony and the financial loss suffered by the complainant due to this incident." 

However, the sensitivity or the emotions alone are not the factors to be taken into consideration by the court while deciding the fate of any accused. These cannot replace evidence.” The court reportedly said, “It is not clear as to whether the IO chose not to find out any other witness or whether no other person came forward who had seen the incident in question.”

In the past too, Delhi Courts have not shied away from calling Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’. Interestingly, while this latest order too may be seen as the court asking Delhi Police to relook at their own investigation in this particular case, it is noteworthy to recall that the Delhi High Court had recently issued an order to transfer four Additional Sessions Judges (ASJ) including ASJ Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma North East Delhi District court who had dealt with numerous cases related to the Delhi violence in the past year. Incidentally, many of his orders since March 2021 had pin-pointed the callous attitude of Delhi Police and the many shortcomings of the investigations they were carrying out in the Delhi violence cases. 

Related:

Delhi Violence case: Court discharges 3 accused citing shoddy investigation
Delhi Violence: Courts call Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’
Delhi Police fail to start investigating case, even though accused called for riots over loud speaker!
Delhi Violence: Court frames charges against 5 men for shooting a Muslim man dead, setting body on fire

Court asks Delhi Police to probe if attempt was made to shield five accused in NE Delhi violence

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat had discharged the men accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man's house and a medical store during the riots, due to lack of evidence

Delhi Court
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

Earlier this year, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat had discharged the five men who were accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man's house and a medical store during the North East Delhi violence. Now, on November 24, a Delhi court has ordered the Delhi Police to investigate if a “deliberate attempt” had been made to shield five men who were discharged.

The five men were accused of being part of a mob that looted a Muslim man’s house and a medical store, according to police, rioters also took away medicines and cosmetics worth about Rs 22-23 lakh from the store. However, the court said that as the accused were let off due to lack of evidence, northeast DCP has been ordered to conduct an enquiry into the “manner in which the investigation was conducted by the Investigating Officer (IO) in this case to find out whether or not there had been any deliberate attempt to shield the offenders.” According to news reports, the court said that the “accused were not discharged because the incident did not take place or that they were falsely implicated.” According to the report, the court had relied on Supreme Court guidelines while dealing with the evidence pertaining to the commission of an offence involving a large number of offenders and a large number of victims. 

ASJ Bhat said that “in order to convict a person, at least two prosecution witnesses have to support and identify the role and involvement of the accused persons.” However in this case, only the complainant was a prosecution witness who did not identify any members of the mob at the time of the incident, but did so when he was shown their photographs by the police, reported IE. The court then “discharged the accused for lack of sufficient evidence.” However, the court noted that material on record does clearly indicate that a riotous incident has taken place and observed, “This court is not insensitive towards the mental agony and the financial loss suffered by the complainant due to this incident." 

However, the sensitivity or the emotions alone are not the factors to be taken into consideration by the court while deciding the fate of any accused. These cannot replace evidence.” The court reportedly said, “It is not clear as to whether the IO chose not to find out any other witness or whether no other person came forward who had seen the incident in question.”

In the past too, Delhi Courts have not shied away from calling Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’. Interestingly, while this latest order too may be seen as the court asking Delhi Police to relook at their own investigation in this particular case, it is noteworthy to recall that the Delhi High Court had recently issued an order to transfer four Additional Sessions Judges (ASJ) including ASJ Vinod Yadav of Karkardooma North East Delhi District court who had dealt with numerous cases related to the Delhi violence in the past year. Incidentally, many of his orders since March 2021 had pin-pointed the callous attitude of Delhi Police and the many shortcomings of the investigations they were carrying out in the Delhi violence cases. 

Related:

Delhi Violence case: Court discharges 3 accused citing shoddy investigation
Delhi Violence: Courts call Delhi Police’s investigation ‘callous, inefficient, indolent and lackadaisical’
Delhi Police fail to start investigating case, even though accused called for riots over loud speaker!
Delhi Violence: Court frames charges against 5 men for shooting a Muslim man dead, setting body on fire

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