A sessions court here has ordered framing multiple charges, including attempt to murder, arson and criminal conspiracy, against 19 people in a case related to the 2020 north-east Delhi riots.
The order by Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma court on Friday pertains to an FIR registered on February 28, 2020, based on a complaint by Yatender Sharma.
The complainant alleged that a mob rampaged DRP School in Shiv Vihar, where he worked as a manager, on February 24 of that year on the instigation of Faisal Farooq, who owns Rajdhani School in the same area.
The FIR stated that Farooq and the other accused — Shahrukh Malik, Shahnawaz, Rashid, Mohd. Faisal, Mohd. Sohaib, Shahrukh, Azad, Ashraf Ali, Parvez, Aarif, Sirajuddin, Faizan, Irshad, Anis Qureshi, Mohd. Parvez, Mohd. Illyas, Mohd. Furkan and Mohd. Ansar — were part of the mob and had “used Rajdhani School as a base for throwing petrol bombs and pelting stones at properties belonging to Hindus”. They robbed valuables from the school such as computers, printers, sound systems among others, it added.
The police took statements of eyewitnesses and tracked CCTV footage of the area in over three years of its investigation.
“I find that [all] accused persons…are liable to be tried for offences punishable under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 302 (murder), 153-A (punishment for promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 395 (dacoity)...of the IPC,” ASJ Pramachala said.
The court also ordered additional charges to be framed against Farooq.
On the identification of the accused as members of the mob, the court said that it can be verified during trial at the time of assessment of the evidence on the parameters of credibility.
Rejecting arguments for discharging the accused, such as locations derived from call detail records (CDR), delay in registration of FIR and recording statement of witnesses, the judge said, “I have considered all these contentions, but I do not find the discharge of any accused being made out on the basis of these contentions, in view of the evidence of identification of all the accused persons as part of the riotous mob.”
The court added that while CDR locations were not the basic premise of the prosecution’s case and were used as additional evidence, the absence of the test identification parade (TIP) could not be claimed as a ground for discharge.
It added that the credibility of any witness can be looked into only after conducting the trial and there was evidence of arson on the day of the alleged incident.