A Delhi court on Tuesday acquitted a man in connection with a case related to the 2020 riots after observing that his identification was an “outcome of an afterthought development” by the police, PTI reported.
The court was hearing a case against Noor Mohammad, accused of being a part of a mob that looted and set ablaze a tailoring shop in the Khajuri Khas area of the national capital on February 24, 2020.
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.
The Delhi Police arrested Mohammad and filed a chargesheet under sections related to rioting, unlawful assembly, arson and robbery.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala noted that the prosecution had relied upon the testimonies of the complainant Mohammad Hanif and beat constable Sangram Singh in the case, according to PTI.
The judge also said that he found the statement of Investigation Officer Jeevanand contradictory.
“The investigating officer of the case said that no one except the complainant could identify the accused in this case before April 2, 2022,” the judge said, according to Live Law. “At the same time, the officer said that he had made inquiries from a police officer [Sangram] before 02.04.2020 who told him that he could identify the person responsible for vandalism in the shop.”
The court also took note of the fact that the complainant had not named Mohammad as an accused, according to ANI.
“This is a matter of record that in his complaint Mohd Hanif did not name the accused as one of the rioters nor did he say that he had seen and could identify any of the rioters,” the judge observed.