Court slams Delhi Police for wrongly combining 27 complaints of 2020 riots in one FIR
The order was given while acquitting three individuals who were named as accused in the original FIR, as the charges of rioting and arson were not proven against them beyond reasonable doubt
A Delhi court on Wednesday pulled up police for improperly combining 27 complaints of separate incidents of rioting and arson during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots into a single First Information Report (FIR).
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala directed a senior police officer to ensure that the additional complaints were thoroughly investigated.
The order was given while acquitting three individuals who were named as accused in the original FIR, as the charges of rioting and arson were not proven against them beyond reasonable doubt.
The court expressed severe disapproval of the Delhi Police's action of consolidating 27 complaints with the main FIR and highlighted the inadequate and flawed investigation into the additional complaints.
It stated that the complaints were unjustifiably merged in a mechanical manner and were not properly examined.
The court then referred the matter back to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Northeast, for further action on the additional complaints, emphasising that the clubbing of complaints was erroneous and should be taken into account for subsequent steps.
While discussing the merits of the FIR, the court concluded that the charges against the three accused individuals were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.
It clarified that it did not provide any findings regarding the charges related to other incidents mentioned in the additional complaints, as they were not adequately investigated.
The court expressed dissatisfaction with the investigation, noting that the additional complaints were not thoroughly examined, and the investigating officer was unaware of the specific timing of those incidents.
"It is once again made clear that in the present case, I have consciously not given any finding in respect of charges qua other incidents based on additional complaints, for the reasons that same was not properly and completely investigated by investigating officer and for such omission of the IO, those complainants should not be prejudiced. Hence, the matter in that respect is being referred to the investigating agency again," the judge said.
Due to the lack of proper investigation, the court deemed it inappropriate to address the 27 complaints in the present case.
It highlighted that the investigating officer had admitted to not having any evidence against the three accused in relation to the incidents mentioned in the additional complaints and therefore, addressing the additional complaints within the current FIR would result in injustice.