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Court acquits 9 accused in North East Delhi violence case
New Delhi: A Delhi Court while hearing the Delhi riots case on Monday, acquitted nine persons accused of setting ablaze a shop and house during the Delhi riots.
The court gave relief to the accused by granting the benefit of doubt including delay by police in recording vital information related to the accused persons. All nine persons were accused of rioting, unlawful assembly, arson and other offences.
The court held that the Prosecution has failed to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court also noted that there was an unexplained delay in recording the information regarding the involvement of accused persons in the alleged offences.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma Court acquitted accused Mohd. Shahnawaz alias Shanu, Mohd. Shoaib alias Chhutwa, Shahrukh, Rashid alias Raja, Azad, Ashraf Ali, Parvej, Md. Faisal and Rashid alias Monu by giving them the benefit of doubt.
The judge said, "I hold that sole testimony of head constable Vipin cannot be sufficient to assume the presence of accused persons in the mob, which set ablaze property of the complainant in Chaman Vihar. In such a situation, accused persons are given the benefit of the doubt."
In view of my foregoing discussions, observations and findings, I find that charges levelled against all the accused persons, in this case, are not proved beyond doubt, the judge said.
The court observed that the prosecution witness head constable Vipin had a thorough knowledge of the names and particulars of the accused persons, but he did not take to formally get this information recorded, before April 7, 2020.
"In his cross-examination, Vipin conceded that there had been a briefing at the police station every day, which was attended by him as well as Investigation Officers (IOs). Still, the knowledge about the involvement of the accused persons was not formally recorded anywhere, till April 7, 2020," the court added.
"However, he stated that he had orally informed his senior officers about information with him, after about a week or 15 days of riots. No explanation has been offered for such delay in passing on such crucial information to senior officers by this witness," the court further observed.
" Moreover, if actually such information was given to the senior officers, then what prevented the senior officers to get such information recorded in a formal manner," the court further noted.
"Keeping in view such delay in disclosure of vital information being recorded, I find it desirable to apply the test of consistent testimony of more than one witness, in the present case also," the judge said.
"Applying that test, I hold that sole testimony of PW9 cannot be sufficient to assume the presence of accused persons herein in the mob, which set ablaze property of the complainant in Chaman Vihar. In such a situation, accused persons are given the benefit of the doubt," the court added.
The matter pertains to a case registered in Gokul Puri police station on March 1, 2020, pursuant to a written complaint of February 28, 2020, filed by one Neetu Gautam. The complainant alleged that she was residing in Chaman Park, Delhi. On the ground floor, there was a shop and on the first floor, she was residing. She had gone to Meerut and her shop and house were burnt on February 25, 2020, in the riots.
The accused persons were charge-sheeted by the police for having committed offences punishable under Section 147/148/149/188/427/436 of the Indian Penal Court (IPC). (ANI)