Applications of Delhi riots case accused seeking probe status malafide: Prosecution

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) Delhi Police on Thursday termed as "malafide" and filed with "a clear intent to delay the trial" the applications filed by some of those accused of hatching the conspiracy behind the 2020 northeast Delhi riots seeking to know the status of the probe in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Bajpai was hearing four applications filed by accused Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal (combined application), Asif Iqbal Tanha, Meeran Haider and Athar Khan.

"There is no legal provision for granting the relief and these pleas had been filed with clear intent to delay the trial," said Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad.

"The trial has been already delayed (by these applications) since September 11 (last year) till date," Prasad said, adding "the judgements relied upon by applicants do not help their case".

Citing a Delhi High Court judgement, he said that the prosecution's right to further investigation is an unfettered right.

Prasad also cited a Supreme Court verdict, according to which, once a chargesheet has filed in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provisions, the proceedings can continue without awaiting the supplementary chargesheet.

"The prosecution rests its case saying the applications of the accused are malafide and intended to delay the trial," he said.

The court has posted the matter for further proceedings on August 8.

The predecessor court had on August 5 last year fixed the date for day-to-day hearings on arguments on charges following which on September 11 when the prosecution was about to start the arguments, advocates for Kalita and Narwal (combined) and Tanha had raised an objection that the prosecution needed to disclose the status of the investigation.

Following this, the court granted time to the accused to file formal applications and two applications were filed on September 14.

These sought a direction to the investigating agency to clarify the status of its probe in the case lodged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), an anti-terror law, before the arguments start on whether to frame the charges.

The applications by Haider and Khan were filed later.

Haider's counsel filed a plea seeking the court's directions to know from the Delhi Police whether the investigation in the matter was complete while Khan in his application sought adjournment of arguments on charges till the completion of the investigation.

The accused have been booked under the UAPA and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 riots, which left 53 people dead and over 700 injured.

The violence had erupted during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during the week when then US President Donald Trump was on a visit to India. PTI MNR AS AS

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