A Delhi court hearing a case related to the 2020 communal violence in the city imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 on the prosecution on Wednesday for showing a lack of respect for the time of the witnesses, the court and the public exchequer, Bar and Bench reported.
Despite repeated directions to drop “unnecessary witnesses” in the trial, the prosecution had failed to do so, Additional Sessions Judge of the Karkardooma court Pulastya Pramachala observed.
Communal violence had broken out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing the law in North East Delhi between February 23 and February 26, 2020. The violence claimed 53 lives and hundreds were injured. The majority of those killed were Muslims.
While hearing a case related to the riots, the court noted on Wednesday that the statement of one of the witnesses recorded by the police was about an incident that took place around 6 pm on February 25, 2020, Live Law reported. However, case that the court was hearing had taken place between 12 am and 1 am on February 25.
In an earlier hearing, the judge had observed that the witness was not relevant to the case and he had been discharged. However, the prosecution did not drop the witness from the case and summoned him again.
On Wednesday, the court ordered the deputy commissioner of Delhi Police (Northeast) to conduct an inquiry and fix accountability in order to recover the cost imposed on the prosecution.
The judge also said that special public prosecutors and investigating officers involved in riot cases should be sensitised to check for irrelevant or unrelated witnesses and to take steps to drop them instead of summoning them, reported Bar and Bench.
The court will continue with the examination of other witnesses in the case on November 30.