Irfan Ali says Delhi Police made him a scapegoat, not once or twice but in 55 car theft cases over two dozen years. After being acquitted in all but one case, the Jamia Nagar resident has vowed to extract an apology and a sizeable compensation from authorities.
At one point, the 47-year-old garment trader says he lost count of the number of cases against his name and had to file a Right to Information (RTI) plea to get the answer.
Ali, who was tagged a “known car thief” and had to keep 750 court dates, has approached the Delhi high court seeking Rs 80 lakh as compensation taking into consideration his legal expenses since 1991.
“The life, liberty, livelihood of Ali has been jeopardized and there is a serious infraction of his fundamental rights, which has virtually brought him on the verge of committing suicide,” his petition read.
His counsel, M Sufian Siddiqui, said on each date of hearing, Ali had to spend the whole day in court. This translates to over two years of his life spent defending himself.
The father of two also spent nearly 11 months in jail and judicial custody after being “falsely implicated” in various cases, Siddiqui said, and his family too was harassed by police.
“Ali has been made a scapegoat whereas officials of Delhi Police have been getting promotions, awards and accolades by foisting false cases on him,” the lawyer said.
The high court that has already issued a notice to police in the case is set to consider the petition on July 27. Delhi Police, however, rejected Ali’s allegations, saying they were made so the department would take no action against him.
Officials said Ali was arrested in nine cases while in possession of stolen vehicles and 37 cases were registered against him after people complained when their automobiles were stolen.
They also said in an affidavit that in most cases Ali has been discharged or acquitted because of faulty disclosure and poor investigation, though police never challenged or appealed against these orders.
“If there is any deficiency left by the investigating officer, we act on it. If there is any lapse by the investigating officer, we look into that as well,” said DCP Rajan Bhagat, public relations officer for Delhi Police.