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Journalism of Courage

In riots case, court asks police to ensure integrity of evidence

This comes after videos relied on by the police were not placed on record and, in some cases, not even sent to the forensic science laboratory.

File photo of a torched bus in the Northeast Delhi riots. (Express photo)

A Delhi court has asked senior officers of the Northeast district to ensure integrity of evidence produced in court in Northeast Delhi riots cases, after it came to the court’s notice that videos relied on by the police were not placed on record and, in some cases, not even sent to the forensic science laboratory (FSL).

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramchala Monday directed the DCP (Northeast) and DCP (Crime) to take all necessary steps, in an expeditious manner, “to ensure that such evidence is produced before the court, without any compromise to their integrity, and after due examination from FSL”.

The matter came to light during the cross examination in a case, when it was realised that a CD purportedly containing video clips of riots, which were relied on by investigating officers particularly for identification of the accused, was not found placed on the record.

The court also called for the records in two other cases in which investigators had relied on the same set of videos. The IO of the case had produced a CD which was not in a sealed condition.

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The court laid out the procedure to be followed in such instances by stressing that in case of any video or audio clip, the prosecution is duty bound to get such evidence examined by a forensic expert in order to test its veracity and rule out tampering.

After examination of the CD by the FSL expert, it has to be sent back in a sealed condition and produced before the court in the same condition, the court said.

The court noted that in the first case that a CD was submitted in an unsealed condition, and that two other videos were not even sent to the FSL.


“Integrity of evidence in each case has to be checked and ensured by the prosecution, and, therefore, aforesaid plea cannot be sustained,” the court said.

First published on: 26-09-2022 at 22:16 IST
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