CAA riots case: Delhi police ‘miserably failed’ in statutory duties, says court

Says police created defence for accused officers; imposes fine of ₹25,000 for failing to register separate FIR of victim whose eye was injured

Delhi riots
More than 50 people were killed in the riots that broke out in northeast Delhi in early 2020. | PTI File

A court has dismissed the Delhi police’s revision petition in a case involving communal riots in the northeastern parts of the capital following anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests in 2020, saying the police have “miserably failed” in their statutory duties.

The court directed the police to register an FIR on the complaint of Mohammad Nasir, a resident of Ghonda in northeast Delhi, alleging he suffered a gunshot injury in the eye during the violence.

Further, the court said in its order dated July 13 that the police department had sought to create defence for the accused personnel in a different FIR and that police officials had “miserably failed” in their statutory duties in the case.

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It imposed a fine of ₹25,000 on Bhajanpura police station’s Station House Officer and his supervising officers. Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav sent the order to the Commissioner of Police “for bringing to his notice” the level of investigation and supervision in the matter and also asked him to take remedial action, The Indian Express reported.

Also read: HC grants bail to Kalita, 2 others in Delhi riots case; says protest is not terrorism

In October 2020, a Metropolitan Magistrate had ordered Delhi police to register an FIR on Nasir’s complaint within 24 hours. On March 19 last year, Nasir in his complaint to the police, had said that on February 24, 2020, he was fired upon, due to which he suffered a gunshot injury in his left eye.

He named Naresh Tyagi, Subhash Tyagi, Uttam Tyagi, Sushil, Naresh Gaur and others in the case. Since no FIR was registered, he had moved the court.

Police defence

The police had submitted that an FIR already stood registered with regard to the incident of rioting, in which it was mentioned that Nasir and six more persons had suffered gunshot injuries on the same date. It had also told the court that no evidence was found against the persons named by Nasir.

The police further said Naresh Tyagi and Uttam Tyagi were not even present in Delhi at the relevant time, and Sushil was in his office at that time.

Also read: Jamia, Delhi riots arrests made after analysis of forensic reports: Police

However, advocate Mehmood Pracha — Nasir’s counsel — argued before the court that the FIR registered by the police did not address his grievance, and that a separate FIR was required in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

Judge Yadav, in the order, said the incident with Nasir happened on the evening of February 24 at north Ghonda, but the FIR registered by the police on February 25 was in respect of Mohanpur, Maujpur. The court also said that seven persons having received gunshot injuries was in the due knowledge of the investigating agency, yet Section 307 of IPC and Section 25 of Arms Act were not invoked at the time of registration of FIR.

Case diaries

While perusing the case diaries, the court said the police on March 17 recorded the arrest of two persons, Salman and Sameer Saifi, on the bases of secret information that they had caused damage to the life and property of Hindus. “However, the name of not a single Hindu victim/injured has been mentioned therein. Be that as it may, it is an admitted fact that the said area/locality is dominated by Hindus,” said the court.

The court also said that the case diary of June 16, 2020 has been recorded “on a different leaf altogether” as it mentions that ‘no eye-witness could be found’ traced in the matter “despite the MLC of respondent (Nasir) clearly showing his address”.

Observing that the case diaries have not been maintained in accordance with the law, the court also said that when two separate complaints disclosing cognizable offences are filed by two different complainants, there are no provisions under which they can be clubbed.

The court also said that the Delhi High Court rules have not been followed by the police in the matter and the investigation in the registered FIR has been done in a “most casual, callous and farcical manner”.

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