A Delhi court, pronouncing the first sentencing in the 2020 Delhi riots case on Friday, 17 December, convicted a man for harbouring Shahrukh Pathan, who had aimed a gun at a policeman during the February 2020 riots in northeast Delhi.
Kaleem Ahmed was convicted under section 216 of the Indian Penal Code (harbouring offender who has escaped from custody or whose apprehension has been ordered), after he voluntarily pleaded guilty to the charge framed against him, as per the court judgement.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, in the order, noted that Ahmed had been under custody since 17 March 2020.
"Convict Kaleem Ahmed has shown remorse in the court and prayed for leniency and pleaded having been misled by accused Shahrukh Pathan. He has suffered imprisonment under the present matter from 17.03.2020 till 07.09.2021 while maximum sentence that can be awarded is three years," the court judgement stated.
The judge awarded Ahmed a sentence amounting to the period that has already been served by the convict and a Rs 2,000 fine, for his "apparent act of contrition."
"Considering family status of convict, his whole individual position, the factum of his voluntary plea of guilt and the fact that his apparent act of contrition deserves to be taken at face value to give another chance to him to reform himself and considering his role and the offence, the convict is sentenced to the period already undergone by him and also to a fine of Rs. 2,000, in default of payment of fine, simple imprisonment of one month. Benefit of Section 428 CrPC be given to the convict Kaleem Ahmed."The Court Order
Section 428 of the CrPC provides for the period of detention undergone by the accused to be set off against the sentence of imprisonment.
The Shahrukh Pathan Connection
As per the court order, "the role of the convict Kaleem Ahmed is not that of participation in the riots but of providing/harboring accused Shahrukh Pathan who had absconded after the incident".
Shahrukh Pathan, 24, is accused of pointing a gun at a policeman the first day of the 2020 Delhi riots.
Pathan is charged under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 216 (harbouring an offender), 186 (voluntarily obstructing any public servant in the discharge of their public functions), 307 (attempt to murder), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC, read with relevant sections of the Arms Act.
The weapon of offence – a 7.65 mm pistol and two live rounds – were recovered from him.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court on 6 December had convicted a man for being part of a riotous mob that set a house on fire during the Delhi riots.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat convicted 25-year-old Dinesh Yadav for being a member of an unlawful assembly, rioting, arson, house trespassing, and robbery.