A Delhi Court Tuesday acquitted former BJP MLA Anil Jha and seven others for allegedly stopping Awadh Assam Express train during a ‘Bharat bandh’ in 2010.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal, in his order, said “even though it appeared that there is evidence against Jha, which points towards his guilt, there are factors which diluted these evidences and weakened the case of prosecution”.
“I firmly believe the case of the prosecution has dents, due to which it cannot be said to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly, all accused Gopal, Ranjit Choudhary, Anil Jayaswal, Umesh Vishva Karma, Suraj Pal Singh, Rajesh alias Lala Ram, Shyam Lal and Anil Jha are acquitted,” the court said.
According to police, during a ‘Bharat bandh’ on July 5, 2010, information was received at the control room (outer district) that protesters have stopped a train near Prem Nagar Fatak. It claimed that Jha, along with 150-200 BJP workers, were present on the track with flags in their hands.
The judge noted that there was a five-day delay in registering the FIR by the complainant Suvashish Choudhary, the then Additional DCP (Outer Delhi).
“No reason has been given why it took five days to register the FIR … The case is entirely based on police witnesses. The complainant is a police officer. There is no external circumstance to prevent them from acting promptly,” the judgment read.
The ACMM also said that the case of State of Andhra Pradesh vs M Madhusudhan Rao (2008) explains the object and essence of prompt lodging of FIR and that “delay in lodging the FIR, more often than not, results in embellishment and exaggeration, which is a creature of afterthought”.
The court also said station master of Nangloi Railway Station, Naresh Kumar, in his examination, did not state that it was Awadh Assam Express which was stopped.