More than a year after the riots in northeast Delhi, a Delhi court on Tuesday delivered its first verdict in a riot case that acquitted a man accused of being part of a mob that allegedly attacked a shop and looted.
Additional hearings Judge Amitabh Rawat acquitted the accused, Suresh alias Bhatura (27), noting that the “prosecutors have failed miserably to prove her case, forgotten beyond a reasonable doubt. All key witnesses differ materially, which affects the version of the prosecution.”
The accused was represented by a legal aid lawyer, Rajeev Pratap Singh, who told the court that his client had previously been released on bail but “could not pay bail because he belongs to a poor family”.
The FIR was filed in response to a complaint from an Asif, who stated that on February 25, 2020, around 4 p.m., a huge crowd with iron bars and lathes came to his shop on Main Babarpur road, broke open the shutter and looted it.
This shop is owned by one Bhagat Singh, who said in his statement to police that members of the mafia looted the shop because they believed it belonged to a Muslim. He told police he tried to reason with the crowd but was chased away. Singh then reached for a senior officer, who reached the spot, and the crowd dispersed.
In discussing the evidence from the prosecution’s witnesses, the court said that “there is no worth of testimony that connects the accused to the present offense in question”.
Referring to “glaring inconsistencies” in the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses, the court stated that Asif was “not an eyewitness to the incident of the riot” and Singh denied that he “had ever identified the accused either at the date of the riot”. incident or when the police arrived with one person arrested”.
The court said the police investigation “is far behind the desired”.
The court said Chief Inspector Sunil’s evidence of seeing the accused on the day of the riots was “unsustainable” as he hadn’t recorded anything of the same.
“It is also important to note that the accused is of bad character in the area and the fact was known to all police officers, and despite this it was not put in writing until 01.03.2020, and this is not credible,” it said. the verdict.
The court had filed charges on March 9 under IPC Sections 143 (penalty for being a member of an illegal assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 427 (damage with damages up to fifty rupees), 454 (on lurk or burglary to commit an offense punis