Judge critical of police probe in Delhi riots cases transferred

A day earlier, ASJ had said police witness was ‘lying on oath’

October 07, 2021 01:09 am | Updated 02:56 am IST - New Delhi

Gutted buildings and vehicles after the riots in north-east Delhi last year.

Gutted buildings and vehicles after the riots in north-east Delhi last year.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who was presiding over several cases related to the north-east Delhi riots at the Karkardooma court, was on Wednesday transferred to the Rouse Avenue court where he will serve as a Special Judge for cases pertaining to the Prevention of Corruption Act.

ASJ Yadav has been replaced by Virender Bhatt, who earlier served as Special Judge at Rouse Avenue court.

The transfer order issued by the Delhi High Court included seven Metropolitan Magistrates and four Additional Sessions Judges.

In addition to ASJ Yadav, Metropolitan Magistrate Fahad Uddin, who presided over another of the four special courts hearing matters related to the February 2020 riots, has been transferred as Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari court. Shama Gupta will replace him.

While hearing the riots cases, ASJ Yadav had passed several scathing orders and pointed out loopholes in investigations. During one such hearing last month, he had observed that “failure to conduct a proper investigation will torment sentinels of democracy”.

‘Sorry state of affairs’

A day before his transfer, ASJ Yadav had come down heavily on Delhi Police, saying one of its witnesses was “lying on oath” and it was “a very sorry state of affairs”. He had asked DCP (Northeast) for a report in the matter.

He made the observation after Head Constable Sanoj stated on oath in his evidence that he had identified three rioters by their names and professions, namely Vikas Kashyap, Golu Kashyap and Rinku Subziwala. However, Assistant Sub-Inspector Ram Dass stated in his evidence that the three accused “could not be identified during investigation”.

ASJ Yadav in his order said it appeared prima facie that one of the police witnesses in the case was lying on oath and the same was punishable under IPC Section 193 (punishment for false evidence).

The court noted that while the Head Constable had categorically asserted about the accused’s presence at the spot, it was however admitted by the Investigating Officer (IO) “that there is nothing on record to substantiate that matter” and the fact that the three men were ever investigated despite their names being there on record.

“On the contrary, it is stated that the identity of these accused persons could not be established during investigation,” the order read. ASJ Yadav further said there was no material available on record which showed that efforts were made by the IO to apprehend the three men. The case pertains to incidents of robbery and vandalism at multiple houses during the riots in the Johripur Pulia area.

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