The Delhi High Court on Wednesday quashed four of the five First Information Reports against an accused in a case related to the February 2020 communal riots in the national Capital, reported Live Law. The court observed that separate FIRs cannot be registered against a person for the same incident.
“The law on the subject has been settled keeping in line with the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court of India,” said Justice Subramonium Prasad. “There can be no second FIR and no fresh investigation in respect of the same cognisable offence or same occurrence giving rise to one or more cognisable offences.”
Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it between February 23 and February 26 last year in North East Delhi, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds.
The Delhi Police had booked the accused, Atir, for allegedly setting a house on fire in Maujpur area. During Wednesday’s hearing, Atir’s counsel Tara Narula said that the five FIRs registered against her client were based on complaints filed by different members of the same family living in a housing complex where the alleged incident took place, reported The Indian Express.
The prosecution, however, argued that the residents of the complex had suffered individually because of damage to their property.
After going through the site plan of the housing complex, the judge said that despite the damage, all the properties are located on the same compound.
“It is also to be noted that most of the houses in the said compound belong to the same family and were owned by different members of the family after being divided by their forefathers,” the High Court said.
The judge said the FIRs were identical and that any evidence found against the accused could be placed on record in the main case.