A Delhi court has directed the Director of Forensic Investigation of Crime and Scientific Services (CFSL) to expedite the results of the examination of electronic data and take appropriate steps to file the same before it at the earliest, in a case related to the Northeast Delhi riots in February.
Metropolitan Magistrate Fahad Uddin directed police to expedite the process and take steps for filing supplementary chargesheet along with pending forensic lab results at the earliest in the case related to the riots in Jafrabad area, in which Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita is an accused.
The court was hearing an application filed by Kalita seeking copies of videos available with the police in the case.
“It is directed that letter of request be also issued from the court to the Director, CFSL, CBI to expedite FSL results pending in the case and take appropriate steps for filing it before the court at the earliest. IO (investigating officer) is directed to expedite the matter and take steps for filing supplementary chargesheet along with pending CFSL results at the earliest,” it said in its order passed on October 19.
The court said the application was premature as Kalita’s request can be entertained only after cognizance of the chargesheet was taken and the stage of section 207 (supply of documents to parties) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was reached.
It further noted that since the case was sensitive in nature and further investigation was still going on to identify other accused and witnesses, it would be harmful to the prosecution case to supply copies of the entire videos.
“The case was relating to the communal riots, which was sensitive in nature and attracted sufficient media glare and public attention. Thus, supply of entire videos/pen drive procured by the prosecution for the purposes of investigation to identify other accused/witnesses in the case at this crucial stage when further investigation was going on and trial of the cases was yet to commence, may be harmful/detrimental to the prosecution case as well as interest of the society at large,” it said.
It, however, said it was the bounden duty of the court to balance the right of the prosecution to ensure free and fair investigation, vis-a-vis the right of the accused to fair trial.
“Accordingly, instead of rejecting the prayer of the accused, the court deemed it fit to issue certain directions to protect the rights of both the sides in the facts and circumstances of the case,” it said.
The court said that Kalita was given the liberty to move an appropriate application before the trial court/sessions court for production of the documents at appropriate stage during the trial.
It further said she was also given liberty to move an appropriate application to obtain copies of videos once forensic report was obtained and the videos/DVDs concerned were filed along with the supplementary chargesheet before the court.
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