Delhi riots: Court discharges man of an offense
Discharging a man of an offense in the northeast Delhi riots last year, a court said that even though communal riots cases have to be considered with the utmost sensitivity, common sense should not be given a go-by. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav discharged 22-year-old Javed for the offense of causing "mischief by fire or explosive substance."
Complainant's statements don't show that the particular act was committed
The judge discharged after noting that the complainant's statements do not show that the particular act was committed. The judge said, "This court is conscious of the fact that cases of communal riots have to be considered with the utmost sensitivity, but that does not mean that common sense should be given a go-by."
Accused Javed was arrested in April 2020
"The mind has to be applied even at this stage with regard to the material available on record," he added. Accused Javed was arrested in April 2020 based on complaints filed by four people who claimed that their house, godown, and shops were vandalized and looted by a riotous mob on February 25, 2020.
Judge observed that there were no eyewitnesses of the incident
The judge observed however that there were no eyewitnesses, CCTV footage, or photographs of the incident. He also took note of the fact that the complainant didn't state a single word regarding mischief by fire or explosive substance by the mob.
Investigating agency cannot cover up the said flaw: Judge
"I'm afraid that the investigating agency cannot cover up the said flaw by recording supplementary statements of complainants if the ingredient(s) of Section 436 (IPC) was not there in their initial written complaints made to the police," he said. I'm of the considered view that ingredients of Section 436 are not made out from the material produced on record by the agency, he added.
Communal clashes had broken out in February 2020
"Except for Section 436 IPC [mischief by fire], all the offenses invoked in the matter are exclusively triable by the court of learned Magistrate," he added. To recall, communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi in February 2020, after violence between the Citizenship Amendment Act supporters and its protesters spiraled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and over 700 injured.