A Delhi Court has acquitted four men facing trial for loot and arson at Muslim houses during the Northeast Delhi riots in 2020. The court said that it feels “absolute loath” to place any trust on the testimonies of the two prosecution witnesses, a constable and a head constable.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat acquitted Dinesh, Sahil, Sandeep and Tinku. The four accused were facing charges under Section 143, 147, 148, 380, 436 along with section 149 of IPC. An FIR was registered at Gokalpuri police station by the complainant Afzal Saifi who said that the rioters had looted his house.
The two officers had identified the four accused as they already knew them before the incident happened.
The court said, the fact that the officers, “star witnesses”- constable and head constable, identified the four accused amongst the mob, who looted the house of Saifi and set it on fire seems very doubtful to them.
“They claim that all the four accused were known to them and hence, they could identify them in the mob. Intriguingly, they did not inform either their senior officers at the 10 (investigation officer) of this case about the fact that they knew some of the rioters who were involved in the rioting incidents in Bhagirathi Vihar on February 26, 2020.”
The court observed that they maintained an “eerie silence” when their statements were being recorded under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The court also questioned the reason which “precluded them from disclosing the names of the accused to the 10 or to any senior officer till 22.03.2020.”
The court observed that the officers identified the accused on the basis of CCTV footage which was difficult to believe that the four accused persons were seen in any video footage.
“Even if the accused were seen in such video footage then also it does not advance the prosecution case on the aspect of identity of the accused for the reason that the footage, admittedly, was of some other place and not of the place of incident in this case.”
Along with them six more people namely Amir, Saddam, Md. Rahis, Amir, Akram and Wasim were acquitted by a Delhi Court. The FIR was registered under section 147, 148,149, 436 and 427 of IPC.