2020 Delhi Riots: Court Acquits Two From Charges of Rioting, Torching House

The accused persons were charged for being part of the mob that looted and set a house on fire in Jyoti Nagar.

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2020 Delhi Riots: Court Acquits Two From Charges of Rioting, Torching House
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A Delhi court, on Wednesday, 14 September, acquitted two accused from the charges of rioting and torching a house in a case related to the north-east Delhi riots, saying the participation of the accused in the alleged incident was “not established at all.”

“Prosecution has not been able to prove its case against both the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt which is the touchstone of criminal law. Hence, both the accused persons are acquitted of all the offences punishable…,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat said.

The court was hearing a case where the accused persons, Yogender Singh and Suraj, were charged with various provisions of the IPC, including rioting, for being a part of the riotous mob that looted, ransacked, and set on fire a house in Jyoti Nagar area on 25 February, 2020.


The Court's Observations

The court noted that the entire case of the prosecution was based on the testimonies of the complainant (and house owner) Shamshad and prosecution witness, Constable Pramod, who were eyewitnesses of the alleged incident.

However, the complainant, who was the most important natural and eye witness of the entire incident, did not attribute anything to the accused persons, nor did he identify their presence or involvement in the present case, the court said.

The court further said that as per the deposition of Constable Pramod, he did not make any Daily Diary (DD) entry or complaint regarding the alleged incident despite knowing both accused by their faces and having identified them during the riots.

“...Till suddenly on 9 March, 2020, he (Constable Pramod) identified the accused when they were in the police station and this gives rise the suspicion about the veracity of the said deposition in as much as the prosecution is required to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” the court said.

The court also said that though the accused were arrested on the identification of the complainant and the constable, the arrest memos did not mention them as witnesses and this raised doubts over the prosecution's case.

The testimonies of the natural eye witness Shamshad and Constable Pramod did not inspire the court to conclude the case against the accused persons beyond a reasonable doubt, the court said.

“On the cumulative reading of the entire testimonies of all the witnesses, the presence of accused persons in the unlawful assembly on the time and place of incident and their participation in the act of rioting, mischief, and burning of the house of complainant Shamshad is not established at all,” the court added.

Earlier, Jyoti Nagar police station had registered FIR against the accused persons based on the complainant's statement.

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