A court in Delhi on Thursday observed that the police in the national Capital had failed to conduct a fair investigation and to ensure justice to the victims in cases related to the violence that broke out in February 2020, reported Bar and Bench.
“I am not able to restrain myself from observing that when history will look back at the worst communal riots since partition in Delhi, it is the failure of investigating agency to conduct proper investigation by using latest scientific methods, will surely torment the sentinels of democracy,” Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said.
The court made the observation in its order while discharging Shah Alam, Rashid Saifi and Shadab, all three accused in a case related to the violence.
Alam is the brother of former Aam Aadmi Party Councillor Tahir Hussain, who is in jail in connection with cases related to the Delhi violence, reported Live Law.
Alam, Saifi and Shadab were booked on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and theft during the violence in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26 last year. The violence had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it. As many as 53 people had died and hundreds were injured.
During Thursday’s hearing, the court said that a large number of accused have been in custody for over one-and-a-half years just because the police were still filing supplementary chargesheets and the trial in their cases have not begun.
The court noted that charges had been framed in only 35 cases of the 750 registered in connection with the riots.
“The precious judicial time of this court is being wasted in giving dates in those cases,” the judge said. “A lot of time of this court is being consumed by the cases like the present one [Alam and others], where there is hardly any investigation carried out by the police.”
On the case against the three accused, the judge said that the police had produced only five witnesses – the victim, three of their officials, and a formal witness – even after conducting a long investigation.
The court also noted that the investigation did not identify any other accused, besides the three who had been discharged, from a crowd of 150-200 people.
This showed how much effort the police put into solving the case, the court added.
“The sort of investigation conducted in the instant case and the lack of supervision thereof by the superior officers clearly depicts that the investigating agency has merely tried to pull the wool over the court’s eyes and nothing else,” the judge said.
He added: “The casualty in the matter is pain and agony suffered by complainant/victim, whose case has virtually remained unsolved.”
The court noted that the police did not start an investigation into the case after receiving two complaints, but took action only when Constable Gyan Singh, one of the witnesses, provided his testimony.
Said Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav:
“I am pained to note that no real/effective investigation in the matter has been carried out and merely by recording the statement of constable Gyan Singh that too at a belated stage, especially when the accused persons were already under arrest in another case, the investigating agency has just tried to show the case as ‘solved’.”
The court said that it was Singh’s duty to immediately report the incident to the police station but he had not done so. Singh had only named the accused while recording his statement on March 3, 2020, the court said.
The judge pointed out that Singh’s silence was not only fatal to the case, but also gave an impression that he was “planted” to solve the matter.