A Delhi court has acquitted an RJD MLA from the national capital of the charges of rioting and attacking the employees of erstwhile power company DESU who had gone to repair a technical fault nearly 14 years ago.
"I am of the opinion that the prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against accused Mohd Asif Khan (MLA from Okhla Assembly seat) and he is entitled to benefit of doubt on the point of identification," Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Naveen Arora said.
The court said non-conduct of Test Identification Parade (TIP) to ascertain the veracity of the complaint went in favour of the accused.
It said the key prosecution witness, an employee of DESU who had lodged the FIR, did not know the accused at the time of the incident and lack of TIP to ascertain his identity was fatal to the outcome of the prosecution's case.
The court allowed the plea of Tanveer Ahmed, counsel for the lawmaker, that even if one were to assume that the alleged incident happened, the identity of the accused was crucial to fix the criminal liability.
An FIR was lodged by a DESU employee that he along with his colleagues, reached near Jamia Milia Islamia University on the afternoon of June 23, 1996, to fix a technical fault which had resulted in load shedding in the area.
The accused and his over 150 supporters had surrounded the official vehicle of DESU and instigated them to put it on fire, forcing the employees of the power body to flee from the spot.
The accused were booked under various provisions of the IPC, dealing with rioting, restraining public servants, arson and group liability.