AAP MLA Akhilesh Tripathi and four others were acquitted of rioting, unlawful assembly and other charges by a Delhi court due to the prosecution witnesses “turning hostile” in the 2013 case.
While acquitting Model Town MLA Tripathi and four others, Metropolitan Magistrate Kapil Kumar said, “By virtue of testimony of PW (prosecution witness)-1 to PW-3, who turned hostile in toto, the case of prosecution stands not proved. None of the allegations of the prosecution stands proved on record. All avernments of prosecution were categorically denied by PW-1 to PW-3 who were examined as eyewitnesses of the present case. Prosecution miserably failed to discharge its burden of proof.”
The court has also said that the “formal witnesses” were not eyewitnesses of the alleged rioting, and had not
actually seen the “accused persons forming unlawful assembly”.
“The other witnesses examined in the present case are formal witnesses, being the witnesses of investigation or preparing formal documents. None of them is the eyewitness of the present case. None of them deposed that they had seen accused persons forming unlawful assembly or beating the complainant and other injured persons,” the court said.
The acquittal orders came after the main complainant Bitto Jha was declared hostile during cross-examination. Jha, turning hostile, deposed before that court that “he did not give any complaint to the police” regarding the case.
“He denied the suggestion that all the accused persons started beating him with a danda. He denied the suggestion that he is deposing falsely as won over by accused persons,” said the court, about Jha’s cross-examination by prosecution.
Police had chargesheeted Tripathi, along with four other accused – Vikas, Kanhaahiya, Inder, Vikram and Rahul – on charges of rioting, rioting armed with a deadly weapon, unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and for obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.