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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Northeast Delhi riots: Plea questions MHA, Delhi govt sanction to prosecute accused

It asked police to file a reply in four weeks. The case has been listed for hearing on January 12.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | November 10, 2020 4:37:47 am
Delhi riots, Delhi riots Umar Khalid, Umar Khalid Delhi riots, Delhi riots chargesheet, Delhi riots police, Umar Khalid newsThe court took cognizance of the chargesheet on Tuesday. (File)

THE DELHI High Court Monday sought a status report from Delhi Police in a plea challenging the trial court order of taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed in the main conspiracy case pertaining to Northeast Delhi riots, and sanction orders passed by the MHA and Delhi government for prosecution of accused under UAPA in the case.

It asked police to file a reply in four weeks. The case has been listed for hearing on January 12.

The chargesheet in the conspiracy case has been filed against 15 accused, including former AAP MLA Tahir Hussain, Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal, and Jamia students Safoora Zargar and Gulfisha Fatima among others.

In the petition filed by Jamia student Shifa-ur-Rehman through advocate Amit Bhalla, it has been argued that as per UAPA Section 45, no sanction can be granted without recommendation of the competent authority, and that authority cannot make any recommendation without conducting an independent review of evidence gathered during investigation.

In the petition, which was argued by advocate Abhishek Singh before the bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna Monday, the court was told sanctions were purportedly granted in the case on August 10 by MHA and August 11 by Delhi government, but it was even after those dates that the prosecution had filed an application seeking extension of time for reinvestigation up to November 17.

“The authority could not have reviewed evidence gathered in the course of the investigation, and made the recommendations, for the simple reason that as on the date when sanctions have been granted, the exercise of gathering evidence was not complete,” the petition reads.

Contending that the August 11 order has been passed “mechanically” by the Delhi government, the plea further claims neither the draft chargesheet nor any recommendations of the authority concerned were enclosed with the August 5 letter in which the request was made to obtain sanction.

The plea also states that statements of more than 100 witnesses were recorded by police after that date. The MHA’s order passed on August 10 is equally bad for non-application of mind, the plea argues.

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