‘Riot accused shared common object of unlawful assembly’

Shattered dreams: A view of burnt houses at Bhagirathi Vihar in riot-hit north-east Delhi.File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

In the first conviction in the 2020 Delhi riots cases, a local court has noted that even though the evidence did not point to the accused entering and vandalising the complainant’s house, the fact that he, armed with a wooden rod, was present in the mob which resorted to violence against Muslims, “indicates that he shared the common object of the unlawful assembly”.

The order convicting Dinesh Yadav alias Michael, which was delivered by Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat on Monday, was made available on Tuesday. Seven public witnesses (PWs) deposed before the court.

In its order, the court noted that the statements of two public witnesses clearly indicated that the accused was part of an unlawful assembly of 200-300 rioters on February 25, which indulged in large-scale riots in the E-Block of Chaman Park in Bhagirathi Vihar.

Four witnesses

The court also stated that four public witnesses had deposed that the rioters comprising an unlawful assembly, belonged to the Hindu community, whereas the victims who were beaten and whose houses and shops were vandalised, looted and burnt belonged to the members of the Muslim community.

Further noting that the accused was part of the mob and shared the common object of unlawful assembly, the court said: “The mere fact that he was not seen entering the complainant’s house or vandalising or looting or putting it on fire, does not mean that he was a mere bystander”.

ASJ Bhat stated that there was nothing on record to show that the accused had disassociated himself from the unlawful assembly and he did not share the common object of the assembly.

Held guilty

Hence, the court noted that even though the evidence on record does not indicate that the accused had directly committed the offences involved in this case, yet he is to be held guilty of all those offences which have been committed by the members of the unlawful assembly “for the reason that he shared the common object of other members of the assembly and knew that these offences are likely to be committed in prosecution of the common object of the assembly”.

The accused was convicted for the offences, including IPC sections pertaining to rioting, vandalism and unlawful assembly. The arguments on sentencing will take place on December 22.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 4:01:27 AM |

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