Delhi police granted 2 more months to file chargesheet in Delhi riots case under UAPA

The sessions judge found the justifications given to be valid and hence granted the extension


A Delhi court granted extension of 2 months to Delhi Police’s special cell, to probe further and file chargesheet in the Delhi riots case.

The Application was filed by the public prosecutor on behalf of Delhi police (Special cell) for extension of time to file chargesheet till September 17 as per section 43D(2)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The subsection reads as follows:

“Provided further that if it is not possible to complete the investigation within the said period of ninety days, the Court may if it is satisfied with the report of the Public Prosecutor indicating the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused beyond the said period of ninety days, extend the said period up to one hundred and eighty days

The grounds on which the extension of time was sought are as follows:

a)       The case involves a deep rotted and large scale conspiracy and the key conspirators are yet to be arrested

b)      The source of funds is required to be investigated; due to some technical fault, the relevant data from the mobile phone of the accused, Khalid, could not be recovered. Further, due to the pandemic COVID19 the expert technician was not available.

c)       The conspiracy is multi layered and the same needs to be unearthed

d)      Certified copies of complete details of mobile phones of accused are still awaited and same is to be examined for the purpose of investigation

e)      The prosecution sanction u/s 45 of the UAPA and other necessary permission is still awaited.

The counsel for the accused, Bhavook Chauhan stated that the report of the public prosecutor is required to submit to the court, the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for detention beyond 90 days so that the court can ascertain why some points were not investigated in the stipulated period. He argued that the report does not mention ‘compelling reasons’ for seeking the extension of detention and hence is not maintainable. The counsel also pointed to the casual attitude of prosecution and submitted that extension of time for such attitude would lead to ‘unjustified infringement of fundamental right of the accused”.

On behalf of Safoora Zargar, Trideep Pais submitted that even during the lockdown the police have been making arrets and investigating the case and they cannot claim that due to the lockdown the investigation has been inconclusive.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Dharmender Rana of Patiala House court, held that the public prosecutor’s report shows the development and progress in the investigation, as is requisite, and also gives justification for keeping the accused in further custody. The court observed that the prosecutor’s report highlights that a large number of call details and emails as also IDs of suspects have to be collected; the investigation is voluminous and lengthy, large data pertaining to call details are to be analysed. It further points to the prosecutor’s report mentioning that investigation is concerned with terrorist activities of Indian Mujahideen of causing bomb blast with the aid of associates in Pakistan.

The court held these reasons to be valid in seeking extension of time and granted time to file chargesheet of 2 months i.e. until August 14.

Special cell of Delhi police is handling the case which was registered on March 6 after receiving information that communal riot in Delhi was a result of criminal conspiracy. During investigation more offences were invoked in the case which included charges of sedition, murder, assault on public servant and others as well as under the Arms Act and Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act. Further, on March 21, Khalid and Ishrat Jahan were arrested in the case and later 12 more accused were arrested and remain in custody. The charges under UAPA sections 13 [punishment for unlawful activities], 16 [punishment for terrorist act], 17 [Punishment for raising funds for terrorist act] and 18 [Punishment for conspiracy] were invoked against the accused on April 19.

The same judge, had refused bail to Safoora Zargar, a Jamia Milia Islamia student who is also into the second trimester of her pregnancy while noting that there was prima facie that there was conspiracy to “at least blockade the roads.”

The complete order may be read here.


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