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Destroying evidence in ’84 riots case: Plea against 4 cops quashed

The records and files were alleged to have been destroyed in 1992.

New Delhi |
Updated: March 26, 2014 1:26:18 am

A plea seeking action against four Delhi Police officers for allegedly destroying the records and files of a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, has been dismissed by a court, which said those documents were not relevant and their preservation was not required.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau rejected the plea of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) B S Joon, who had sought framing of charges of destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy against the then SHO of Nangloi police station Inspector Rampal Singh, SI Dalel Singh, the then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh and the then SHO R S Dahiya.

“In view of my discussion, I hereby conclude that the SPP has failed to bring before this court any material, even prima facie, which would show the complicity of the then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh and the then Inspector R S Dahiya in the criminal conspiracy alleged to have been hatched by the accused Dalel Singh and Ram Pal Singh for destruction of records of the present case,” the judge said.

“Rather, there is a total failure to even highlight and establish if there existed any material which was relevant evidence and was required to be preserved and therefore in the absence of the same, the question of destruction does not arise,” the court held.

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The court also said the application was filed by the prosecutor after 22 years and that it was “bereft of all details having nexus to the case”.

The court was hearing a riot case registered in 1991, with regard to the killing of four persons. The records and files were alleged to have been destroyed in 1992.

In the riot case registered at Nangloi police station, accused Satpal Gupta, Dalel Singh, Rampal Singh and Karan Singh were facing trial while two others Prem Chand and Ram Niwas died during the pendency of the case.

The court said even if it was presumed that some records, whose details the prosecution failed to give, were allegedly destroyed, the then ACP and the SHO cannot be summoned and proceeded against in the absence of any sanction granted by the competent authority for prosecuting them.

“Hence, in this background, there is no question of framing the additional charge under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of IPC against the accused Ram Pal Singh, Dalel Singh or against other officers of Delhi Police,” the court said.

The court said all the allegations made by Joon were general and non-specific and he had vaguely stated that photographs of the damaged/burnt house of one Gurbachan Singh, samples lifted from the spot and entries regarding the cremation of dead bodies had been destroyed but has not been able to inform whether the photographs were actually taken or exhibits lifted from the spot or details of cremation were entered.

“Even before the alleged destruction of entire records of police station, the Ranganath Mishra Commission had already summoned and perused the relevant entries and records. Had these entries and records relating to photographs… been in existence and available at that time, I am sure it would have been produced before the Commission,” the judge said.

The court said no doubt the official record, including certificates, inquest papers, untraced and cancelled files were destroyed on February 5, 1992, as admitted by the Delhi Police, but it was evident that the destruction was carried out according to the provisions of Delhi Police rules and the standing orders therein after following due procedure.

The court also said the victims and the Special Investigation Cell, to whom the probes of all the riot cases were transferred, had failed to request and seek preservation of the relevant record and “it does not lie in their mouth to now rake up this issue after 29 years”.

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