The court said presumption cannot be stretched to take the shape of proof.(Amal KS / HT Photo)
The court said presumption cannot be stretched to take the shape of proof.(Amal KS / HT Photo)

Delhi riots case: A hundred suspicions not proof, says court

  • Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat questioned the police’s case as to how the offence of attempt to murder can be made out against accused Imran and Babu, when the victim himself is absent from the police investigation and has never been seen by the police.
By Richa Banka, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:59 AM IST

“From a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof”, a Delhi court quoted from Russian classic Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, while exonerating two persons from the charge of attempt to murder in a north-east Delhi riots case.

Additional sessions judge Amitabh Rawat questioned the police’s case as to how the offence of attempt to murder can be made out against accused Imran and Babu, when the victim himself is absent from the police investigation and has never been seen by the police.

The duo was arrested for allegedly shooting and injuring a man named Rahul during the riots in Welcome area on February 25, 2020.

“The gunshot injury is stated to be caused to Rahul but where is he? His statement is not on record... So by the time, police arrived at the hospital, the alleged victim Rahul had vanished. It is not as if Rahul gave any initial statement and then vanished. The state is categorical in saying that the police never saw Rahul. That being the case, who is going to say who shot whom and by whom and where? The alleged victim has never been seen by the police. He has never given any statement about any gunshot injury or about any mob/rioters. So how is Section 307 IPC made out against the accused persons when the victim is absent from even the police investigation? How is the gunshot injury established? There is no murmur of that,” the judge said.

Rawat also said the charges under the Arms Act are also “superfluous” as no case was made out under those sections. “With the case of the prosecution as it is, Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) is out of bounds. With nothing in the charge sheet to dig in, no case under Section 307 IPC is made out and there is no ground for presuming that these two accused persons have committed the offence of attempt to murder as defined under Section 307 IPC,” the judge said.

The court said presumption cannot be stretched to take the shape of proof.

“(Fyodor) Dostoevsky in ‘Crime and Punishment’ says “From a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof”. Thus, both the accused persons are discharged of the offences under Section 307 IPC & Arms Act,” he said in the order passed on March 1.

He further said the police have, after long investigation, concluded that Rahul had given a wrong address and a wrong mobile phone number in his medico legal case (MLC).

It said there was only one police witness, constable Pushkar, but even he did not make any direct or even tangential reference to the firing by rioters or gunshot injury caused to alleged victim Rahul.

Rawat, however, said there was grounds for presuming that both the accused persons have committed the offences of unlawful assembly and rioting.

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