Delhi riots: court pulls up police for ‘callous’ probe

Failure to conduct proper investigation will surely torment sentinels of democracy, says ASJ

September 03, 2021 02:27 am | Updated 02:27 am IST - New Delhi

A file photo of Delhi police flag marching in the Chand Bagh area following the riots in north-east Delhi in February 2020.

A file photo of Delhi police flag marching in the Chand Bagh area following the riots in north-east Delhi in February 2020.

A Delhi court on Thursday expressed serious reservation over the failure of the city police in conducting a proper investigation into a north-east Delhi riots case, noting that it “will surely torment the sentinels of democracy”.

Three discharged

The court’s stern remarks came while discharging former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain’s brother Shah Alam and two others in a case related to alleged loot and vandalism in a shop during the riots in the Chand Bagh area here.

It noted that there was no CCTV footage of the incident to confirm the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime, nor any independent eyewitness or evidence regarding the criminal conspiracy.

“When history will look back at the worst communal riots since Partition in Delhi, the failure of the investigating agency to conduct a proper investigation by using latest scientific methods will surely torment the sentinels of democracy,” Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said.

“The casualty in the matter is the pain and agony suffered by complainant/victim whose case has virtually remained unsolved; callous and indolent investigation; lack of supervision by the superior officers of the investigation and criminal wastage of the time and money of the tax payer.”

“The sort of investigation conducted in the instant case and the lack of supervision thereof by the superior officers clearly depict that the investigating agency has merely tried to pull the wool over the court’s eyes and nothing else,” the judge said.

About 750 riots cases were registered in the north-east district of Delhi. “This is the sole court dealing with all the matters of riots cases in north-east Delhi... There are a large number of accused persons who have been languishing in jail for the last one and a half years merely on account of the fact that the trial in their cases are not being initiated. The police seem to be busy in filing supplementary chargesheets,” the court said.

‘No technical evidence’

The judge remarked that a lot of time of the court is being consumed by the cases like the present one, where there is hardly any investigation carried out by the police. The case appears to have been solved merely by filing this chargesheet without any real effort being made to trace out the eyewitnesses, real accused persons and technical evidence, the judge said.

“This court cannot permit such cases to meander mindlessly in the corridors of judicial system, sweeping away precious judicial time of this court when the same is open and shut case.”

“The evidence brought on record by the investigating agency in the case in hand miserably falls short for framing charges against the accused persons. Accordingly, all the three accused persons are discharged from the case,” the court ordered.

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