A Delhi court has stayed the proceedings of a case where the police had clubbed a complaint about alleged arson and looting of a man’s house during the riots with another complaint which was against the complainant; thus arresting him in the same matter making him both a complainant and an accused.
The Additional Sessions Judge (Karkardooma court) Vinod Yadav has directed the Investigating Officer (IO) to be present before the court at the next date of hearing, April 29 and has also directed the State to file a reply. During the previous hearing on March 25, the court had questioned Delhi Police about the improper maintenance of the investigation file in the case of the burning and defacing of Madina Masjid. The court had directed the IO to be present at the next hearing (April 7) and had also directed that original record of FIR nos.55/20 and 72/20, PS Karawal Nagar as well as the original daily diary entries be produced in court.
A revision petition was filed by one Abu Bakar and Hashim Ali whose house was looted and later burnt during the Delhi violence of February 2020 as the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court had taken cognisance of the charges invoked against them. Ali states that on February 25, 2020 a mob attacked his home carrying acid and petrol and while he escaped from his house to save his life, his house was burnt down. This complaint was clubbed by the police with another complaint filed by one Naresh Jain alleging theft, arson and destruction of property while also tagging 13 other complaints filed against defacing and vandalising the Madina Masjid located in Shiv Vihar area of Delhi.
The counsel for the applicants argued that they were arrested in the matter despite them being complainants and wrongly tagged with Naresh Jain’s complaint while no investigation was being carried out in the complaints made by them. It was thus prayed that the interest of justice would be jeopardised if the interim stay is not granted in the matter as the CMM will be proceeding with the tagged case.
The Public Prosecutor submitted that the person accused in the complaint filed by Abu Bakar and Hashim Ali are being interrogated and he wished to produce original case diaries in this regard.
According to the complaint, around 20 to 25 people had gathered on February 25, 2020 at about 6 PM in the Madina Masjid Gali armed with sticks, acid, rods and petrol bottles. Thereafter, the accused persons started breaking the mosque and destroyed the premises by setting it on fire, by causing an explosion of two LPG cylinders. It was further stated that on February 26, 2020, one of the accused had climbed on top of the Masjid and chanted Jai Shree Ram and hoisted a saffron flag over the mosque.
The order may be read here: