Delhi riots: Court seeks status report on pleas for FIR against Kapil Mishra
The residents have alleged the BJP leader was not booked despite their police complaints against him in late February and early March. They approached the Karkardooma court under Section 156 (3) of the code of criminal procedure (CrPC), which empowers the court to direct the police to file an FIR.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 05:45 IST
A city court has issued notices to the police seeking a status report after three residents of northeast Delhi filed pleas to register FIRs (first information reports) against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra and his associates over their alleged role in inciting communal violence in the area in February, according to the complainants, their lawyer and court records.
The residents have alleged the BJP leader was not booked despite their police complaints against him in late February and early March. They approached the Karkardooma court under Section 156 (3) of the code of criminal procedure (CrPC), which empowers the court to direct the police to file an FIR.
The court asked the police to respond to two petitions filed in March. Hearing in these cases was affected due to the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. The first petition, filed on March 12, is expected to heard on July 20. The second, filed on March 18, will be taken up on August 13. The third petition was filed on Saturday (June 4). No date has been fixed for its hearing.
In their response to HT, the Delhi Police said they “meticulously” followed up on all complaints and probed them, stressing that “no discrimination has been made on grounds of community, caste or faith” in a free and fair investigation. Mishra said “some forces” that want to divert attention from the truth are trying to “fabricate false complaints” against him and the Delhi Police.
The Delhi Police have filed around 750 FIRs in connection with the riots between Hindus and Muslims that killed 53 persons and left 400 others wounded over four days (February 23-26). An FIR is the first step in launching a formal police investigation.
In his court application, accessed by HT, one petitioner who asked not to be named said he was at his godown in Karawal Nagar around 4.30pm on February 24 when Mishra’s men attacked him. This person, who was the first of the three to approach the court, said he filed a police complaint on February 25.
Mohammad Jami Rizvi, another complainant and a resident of Yamuna Vihar, said he filed a police complaint on February 23 against Mishra. “We have now approached the Karkardooma court. I know many other complainants on whom pressure is being built to either withdraw the complaint or remove names of Mishra and his men from their complaints,” Rizvi said.
The third complainant, who approached the court on Saturday, said she filed a police complaint on May 5.
Advocate Mahmood Pracha, counsel for all three complainants, claimed the police did not even file any status report in any of these complaints.
Six other residents of northeast Delhi, who have not approached the court have also alleged that their houses and shops were robbed and vandalised by Mishra’s men, according to their complaints in four police stations — Jafrabad, Usmanpur, Gokalpuri and Karawal Nagar —between March 12 and April 29. They have alleged that police did not register an FIR. HT has seen the complaints.
On February 23, Mishra visited the Jafrabad metro station and held protests against those who blocked the road (anti-Citizenship Amendment Act, or anti-CAA, demonstrators) that runs underneath the metro station. Mishra demanded that the police remove anti-CAA protesters within three days. The Delhi Police, in their charge sheets, have acknowledged that two groups of pro-CAA and anti-CAA protesters clashed at Jafrabad at the start of the riots. They did not mention Mishra’s name.
Mishra told HT that even legal experts have said there was nothing wrong in what he said that day. “What I said is captured in video, and everyone has seen that video (on social media)...Now that the entire conspiracy of Delhi riots is exposed, people such as Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi, Shahrukh, Safoora Zargar, and Sharjeel Imam, and the role of Pinjra Tod (a students’ group) are under the scanner,” he said, referring to people held in connection with the riots. He alleged that the violence began in Delhi at the Jamia Millia Islamia in December.
“The truth of Delhi riots is out; how long they have planned, their funding and why they especially chose the days of [US President] Donald Trump’s visit [in February-end]; everything is exposed already. I am the only one who actually went out and assisted riot victims, and if you go on ground, you will hear the reality from people,” Mishra said.
A Delhi Police spokesperson said a case has been registered at Khajuri Khas police station regarding the incident referred to by the first complainant. He confirmed that the department received court papers on March 18, but also said no complaint was received by the Khajuri Khas police from the first person. However, the matter is being investigated.
Responding to Rizvi’s complaint, the official said he gave a wrong address and was not available on phone. “The enquiry has not revealed an iota of truth in his complaint. The allegations laid down by Rizvi are outrightly and vehemently denied..,” he said. “The matter is also under judicial scrutiny in court and necessary action will be taken as per the outcome and directions of the court.”
Allegations in the third complaint, too, were found to be “vague, concocted, false and baseless”, the spokesperson said.
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, who has represented some of those accused of the Dehi riots (by the police) in the Delhi high court, said the law laid down by the Supreme Court is clear, and the police have no option but to register an FIR if a complaint discloses the commission of a cognisable offence.
“If after investigation, the police find the complaint to be false, they have the option of filing a closure report. But that closure report will also be scrutinised judicially and the magistrate need not agree with the view taken by the police. But by not registering an FIR in this first instance, police are avoiding an investigation into cognisable offences mentioned in the complaint.”