Delhi riots: Court acquits man, says probe is ‘way short of desired one’ | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: In the first order in a case related to the northeast Delhi riots in February last year — out of the cases linked to 755 FIRs — a city court on Tuesday acquitted the sole accused of all charges, observing that the investigation was “way short of the desired one”.
While acquitting Suresh, the court, however, noted that the testimony of the witnesses had proved that the formation of an unlawful assembly of 15-20 people, rioting and ransacking of the shop of the complainant had indeed taken place. But Suresh was the only person arrested in the matter.
Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat said the testimony of the witnesses in the case were contradictory and there were “glaring inconsistencies”.
“In the light of the testimonies of the witnesses of the prosecution and their careful scrutiny, it is well apparent that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case, forget about beyond reasonable doubts. All the major witnesses are at variance with each other on material terms, impacting the prosecution version…There is no testimony worth its salt which connects the accused to the present offence in question,” the judge said in his order.
A 27-year-old labourer, Suresh, who was arrested in the case on April 7 last year, was acquitted of all the offences punishable under sections 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 427 (mischief), 454 (house-breaking) read with 149 (unlawful assembly) and 395 (punishment for dacoity) of IPC.
North-east Delhi had witnessed largescale communal violence from February 24-26 last year when clashes broke out between pro-CAA and anti-CAA protestors, in which 53 people lost their lives and several hundreds were injured.
Suresh had got bail in the case on February 25 but was still languishing at the Mandoli jail as he was unable to furnish the amount of his bail bond, said his counsel, Rajeev Pratap Singh Tomar.
The case was registered on the complaint of one Asif, a tenant at the shop, which was vandalised and looted during the riots. Asif had claimed in his complaint that he had closed the shop on February 25, 2020, when he heard a commotion outside his house and saw 15- 20 people armed with ‘danda’ and ‘sariya’.
Asif had alleged that the mob was inciting others to damage and loot the shop because it was owned by a Muslim, and when he tried to intervene, he was threatened with dire consequences.
The court, in its order, noted that Asif was not an eyewitness to the incident of rioting and another witness, Bhagat Singh, on whom the prosecution relied upon the most, had denied having ever identified Suresh either on February 25, 2020, or when the police officers came to him with one apprehended individual.
“He (Singh) specifically deposed that PW6 & PW7 (police officials) told him that the accused was involved in the rioting…In fact, as per PW2 (Singh), he informed the police and PW6 head constable Sunil Kumar had reached the spot even before he had reached the shop. The testimony of PW2 is, by itself, fatal to the prosecution case,” said the order.
The court also said the deposition of the prosecution witness, head constable Sunil Kumar, that he had identified Suresh at the time of the rioting was “untenable”. If he had identified the accused at the time of rioting, then why did he not record any entry about it till the FIR was filed on February 28, 2020, the court asked.
“As can be made out on the cumulative reading of the entire testimonies of all the witnesses, the identification of the accused is not established at all. The investigation carried out is way short of the desired one,” it said.
The police had recorded the statements of seven witnesses in the case.

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