On 30th August 2021, a Delhi Court recently framed charges against one Rohit in a case concerning North East Delhi riots after observing that even though the investigation was highly insensitive and had a cruel disregard and the investigation was inefficient, the statements of victims cannot be ignored by the Court.
The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav observed, "Be that as it may, it is worth noting that investigation in the matter appears to be highly callous, inefficient and unproductive; however, as noted earlier this Court at this stage, cannot ignore the statements of victims dehors the delay in recording of FIR in the matter."
An FIR was registered( FIR 32/2020) against Rohit on February 26 2020, last year alleging that a riotous mob consisting of about 400-500 persons, armed with dandas(sarias) and iron rods blocking the main Gokalpuri Road and thereafter setting on fire some shops and vehicles in the area of Ganga Vihar and A, B, C and D Blocks of Gokalpuri, Delhi-94 on 24.02.2020.
Also a written complaint was received from one Anwar Ali on 7th march.2020, regarding vandalizing, looting and putting on fire his house in the evening of 24th February 2020 by the mob.
The said complaint was clubbed with the instant case FIR. Two other complaints were also clubbed with the FIR. Another written complaint dated 11th march 2020 vandalizing, looting and putting on fire his House No.A-23, Gokalpuri by the riotous mob on 24 february 2020. The said complaint was also clubbed with the instant case FIR.
Thereafter, on 2nd April 2020 one more complaint of similar nature was received from one Irshad, wherein he stated that in the evening of 24th February 2020 a riotous mob after committing vandalism and looting of various articles from his house No.A-21 (first floor), Gokalpuri had set the same on fire. His complaint was also clubbed with the instant case FIR made by Shri Ashiq Ali.
The learned counsel Shri Vimal Kumar Singh, for accused Rohit has made a strong pitch by submitting that there is no incriminating material available on record against the accused and as such he is entitled for discharge in the matter. He argued that the accused has been falsely implicated in the matter by the investigating agency
After various arguments put forward by Shri Vimal Kumar Singh,the Court observed that there was enough ocular evidence in the form of supplementary statements of complainant and public witnesses in order to frame charges against the accused.
"Their statements cannot be brushed aside/discarded at this stage, merely because there has been some delay in recording of their statements or the complainant(s) have not specifically named them in their initial written complaints. Ocular evidence is considered the best evidence, unless there are strong reasons to doubt it," the Court observed.
The Court also stated, "Whether the same unlawful assembly was operating in the area at the relevant time is a question which cannot be decided at this stage. Similarly, the issue of improper clubbing of complaints and delay in recording of witnesses in the matter also cannot be adjudicated upon at the stage of consideration on charge. This Court, will try to seek answers to these questions during the course of trial," it added.
Further,charges under Section(s) 143/147/148/454/427/380/436/435 IPC read with Section 149 IPC and Section 188 IPC has been framed against the accused.
Title: State v. Rohit