2020 Delhi riots: ‘fabricated evidence’, hostile witness and a case of shoddy probe

Four Muslim men have been acquitted in two different cases in a span of nine days for the lack of evidence against them; two different judges have rapped Delhi Police for tardy investigation

June 11, 2023 01:10 am | Updated 08:01 am IST - New Delhi

Reprimanding Delhi Police, a court recently said ‘it is the tendency of the police witnesses to speak in line with the police case’.

Reprimanding Delhi Police, a court recently said ‘it is the tendency of the police witnesses to speak in line with the police case’. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Karkardooma Courts have acquitted four Muslim men in two different cases related to the 2020 Delhi riots in a span of nine days for the lack of evidence against them. Two different judges have rapped Delhi Police for its shoddy investigation.

While acquitting Noor Mohammad, who was booked for rioting, robbery and voluntarily causing hurt, etc., on the complaint ofa man named Mohammad Rashid, Metropolitan Magistrate Shirish Aggarwal had on May 30 pulled up Delhi Police for “falsely” citing the complainant as a witness who could identify the accused as the offender.

In an FIR filed on February 29, 2020, the complainant had alleged that his shop was vandalised by a rioting mob.

In its remarks, the court observed that the complainant had not identified the accused as the offender and he never told police that he can identify any of the offenders, otherwise he would have named them in the FIR.

Among the other witnesses was a head constable who deposed in court that he was present at the spot and identified some persons in the mob. However, he, too, turned hostile during cross-examination.

Reprimanding the police, the court said that “it is the tendency of the police witnesses to speak in line with the police case”.

“Delhi Police being a disciplined force, a head constable is under the influence of the SHO [station house officer] and the supervisory police officers. It appears that his statement was procured and prepared falsely and belatedly to solve this case,” the court said.

“Since a TIP [test identification parade] of the accused was not conducted by the police for identification by the complainant, it can be inferred that it was not carried out as the police was already aware that its case was fabricated and the accused has been shown as the offender only for solving this case,” the court added.

Cases clubbed

In another acquittal announced on June 7 by Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala, the court maintained that charges levelled against accused Akil Ahmed, Raheesh Khan and Irshad were not proved beyond reasonable doubts. The court also pulled up Delhi Police for clubbing several complaints with the case without investigation.

The matter pertains to an FIR lodged at the Dayalpur police station by complainant Danish Khan, who had alleged that his courier service office was looted and burnt down, due to which hesuffered loss of around ₹6-7 lakh. The accused were booked for rioting, mischief and loot, among others.

During the hearing, the court found that the investigating officer (IO) mentioned about 27 complaints being clubbed in this case. However, on the perusal of the list of complaints, it was found that names of the complainants were mentioned twice in the list. The IO could not point out the 27 complaints when he was cross-examined.

“It is also apparent that there was no logical ground with the IO to club those complaints in the present FIR and it appears to have been done in a very casual manner. Hence, I find that all these complaints are wrongly clubbed in the present FIR in a mechanical manner and were not investigated,” the court said.

“The IO had already acknowledged in his testimony that he did not have any evidence against the three accused persons chargesheeted in this case in respect to incidents being disclosed in the additional complaints,” the court said. In such a situation, deciding the additional complaints in the present FIR would be an “injustice,” the court added in the acquittal order.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.