Court fines police for ‘callous’ riots probe
A Delhi court on Tuesday imposed a fine of ₹25,000 on the Delhi Police for what it called a “casual, callous and farcical” investigation into the complaint by a man who was shot in his left eye during the communal riots in north-east Delhi in February last year.
Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav also dismissed the police’s plea challenging a magisterial order to register an FIR on the complaint by Mohammad Nasir, who suffered the gunshot wound during the violence in North Ghonda, Bhajanpura on February 24, 2020.
The judge said that the fine will have to submitted to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority within a week. The judge said the petitioner, SHO of the Bhajanpura police station, and his supervising officers, have “miserably failed” in their statutory duties in this case.
Nasir’s complaint was clubbed with an FIR registered for gunshot injuries suffered by six others during the riots.
The court said that the facts produced before it revealed “a shocking state of affairs”, and it was not able to persuade itself about the efficacy and fairness of the investigation carried out in the matter.
The court said when two separate complaints disclosing cognizable offences are filed by two different complainants, there is no provision under which the investigating agency can club such complaints and carry out investigation.
In his complaint filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha on July 17, 2020, Nasir said that on February 24, 2020, a man named Naresh Tyagi allegedly shot him in his left eye as he was returning home.
He said that after getting discharged from the hospital on March 12, 2020, he gave a written complaint to the SHO of Bhajanpura police station and named Naresh Tyagi, Subhash Tyagi, Uttam Tyagi, Sushil, Naresh Gaur and their accomplices as the alleged assailants. However, the police did not register an FIR.
The police said that an FIR (64/2020) was registered in the case of seven people, including Nasir, suffering gunshot injuries. It also said that investigations were carried out in the allegations made by Nasir, but no evidence was found against the accused.
Nasir sought a separate FIR, saying he was shot in a different place than other victims. On October 21, 2020, the metropolitan magistrate (MM) directed the police to register a separate FIR on Nasir’s complaint. The police challenged the order in the sessions court.
In a 22-page order passed on Tuesday, judge Vinod Yadav said the investigating agency has given no reason, occasion or justification to feel aggrieved by the magisterial order. It said that the FIR no 64/2020 was filed in respect of incidents that took place in Mohanpuri and Maujpur, and not North Ghonda, where Nasir was allegedly shot.
The judge also questioned the police why it did not invoke the IPC section for attempt to murder, or the Arms Act.
Additional public prosecutor Rajeev Krishan Sharma, who represented the police, submitted that an FIR need not be an encyclopedia of all the facts and circumstances of the case on which the prosecution relies, and rather it was a piece of evidence which could be used for corroborating the case of the prosecution.
Pracha argued that the FIR did not address the grievance of Nasir and there was no mention of section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.
A clash between supporters and opponents of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, under the Jafrabad Metro station in north-east Delhi snowballed into Hindu-Muslim rioting between February 23 and 27 in parts of north-east Delhi. Fifty-three people were killed and 581 injured in the riots.