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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Police failure to hold proper probe will torment sentinels of democracy: Court in Delhi riots case

ASJ Yadav discharged Hussain’s brother Shah Alam, Rashid Saifi and Shadab in a case related to alleged loot and vandalisation of a shop during the February 2020 riots in the Chand Bagh area of Delhi.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi |
Updated: September 3, 2021 7:08:46 am
Of the 750 riot cases, 150 cases have been received by this court for trial. So far, charges have been framed in 35 cases.

Discharging former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain’s brother and two others in a Northeast Delhi riots case, a city court Thursday pulled up Delhi Police, saying “when history will look back at the worst communal riots since Partition” in Delhi, “the failure of the investigating agency” to conduct a “proper investigation… will surely torment the sentinels of democracy”.

Criticising lack of supervision by senior police officers, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, in the discharge order, said the investigation tried to “merely pull wool over the court’s eyes” and this case is a “colossal wastage of the hard earned money of tax-payers, without there being real intent of investigating the matter”.

ASJ Yadav discharged Hussain’s brother Shah Alam, Rashid Saifi and Shadab in a case related to alleged loot and vandalisation of a shop during the February 2020 riots in the Chand Bagh area of Delhi.

Of the 750 riot cases, 150 cases have been received by this court for trial. So far, charges have been framed in 35 cases.

The court said there are a “large number of accused persons who have been languishing in jail for the last about one and half years merely on account of the fact that the trial in their cases are not being initiated.”

“This Court cannot permit such cases to meander mindlessly in the corridors of the judicial system, sweeping away precious judicial time of this Court when the same is open and shut case. The casualty in the matter is the pain and agony suffered by complainant/victim, whose case has virtually remained unsolved; callous and indolent investigation; lack of supervision by the superior officers of the investigation and criminal wastage of the time and money of the taxpayer,” it said.

The court said “police seem to be still busy in filing supplementary chargesheets” and “precious judicial time of this Court is being wasted in giving dates in those cases” where there is “hardly any investigation carried out by the police”.

It said the “case appears to have been solved merely by filing this chargesheet without any real effort being made to trace out the eye witnesses, real accused persons and technical evidence”.

“This does not appeal to senses that nobody watched such a large crowd of rioters when they were on a spree of vandalism, looting and arson. The complaint was required to be investigated with a fair amount of sensitivity and skilfulness, but the same is missing in this investigation,” it said.

Noting that after investigating this matter for so long, police have shown only five witnesses in the matter — the victim, Constable Gyan Singh, a Duty Officer, a formal witness and the IO.

It noted that the complainant gave two complaints but “the investigating agency did not start the investigation till March 2 for the reasons best known to it”.

“Then all of a sudden on March 3, 2020, Constable Gyan Singh emerges in the picture and the IO/investigating agency leapfrogged that opportunity to record his statement and consequently arrested the accused persons from Mandoli jail,” the court said.

It said this conduct of the investigating agency gives the “impression that no real efforts were made by it to sincerely collect the evidence worth it and apprehend the real culprits and instead it has merely tried to show the case as ‘solved’”.

“This silence and delay on the part of Constable Gyan Singh is not only fatal to the case of the investigating agency, but it also gives the impression that he has been ‘planted/ introduced’ to solve the case in hand,” it said.

The fact that police have been able to arrest only three persons in a case in which a mob of over 100 people were involved, the court said, “speaks volumes about the efforts put in by it in this regard”.

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