New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) A court here rejected the Delhi Police's application to prosecute 22 complaints clubbed with the main case and slammed the city force over its "adamant approach" in investigating the additional complaints under one FIR, ignoring the mandate of law.
The court deprecated the Delhi Police's deciding in advance to file one charge sheet across 22 complaints without having evidence to connect the accused with the incidents.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case -- at the stage of arguments on charges -- relating to the 2020 communal riots registered by the Gokulpuri Police Station against three people.
In the last hearing on October 16 this year, the judge noted that the Investigating Officer (IO) had taken a stand to prosecute 22 out of a total of 25 complaints clubbed in the case.
Following this, he had sought an explanation from the Delhi Police as to how without obtaining permission from the court, further investigation was conducted in the case, "that too in a half-hearted manner," with "probably a pre-determined objective to show that all the incidents had taken place on a particular date and time." In the proceedings Monday, the court noted that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Station House Officer (SHO) concerned had filed their reports, requesting it to accept a third supplementary charge sheet.
It said in the SHO's report, the police officer mentioned that 22 complaints are to be prosecuted in this case and there are some witnesses who furnished the information regarding the date and time of some of the complaints based on a "third source." The term used in the report was "public view," the court noted.
"It is further mentioned that for the reasons best known to these complainants, they did not divulge information regarding those sources of information to the police," the court said.
It said, according to the report, charges were being pressed against the accused without any "concrete material to even confirm the exact time and date of those incidents though admissible evidence" as it underlined that "hearsay evidence" is not admissible evidence.
"Today an application has been filed by SHO, thereby seeking permission for further investigation, referring to the same complainants who were not present at the place of incidents at their respective premises and who relied upon their neighbours to furnish the date and time of the incidents," the court said.
The judge, however, said, "What disturbs me is that the investigating agency has already announced its conclusion in respect of 22 complaints even without having the evidence with it, to support such conclusion. This is not a legal exercise." He said this exercise appears to have been done with a predetermined mindset to club all complaints in the present FIR despite having no legal basis.
"As per law, unless there was material for the investigating agency to show and say that the incidents reported in additional complaints were in the continuity of action of the incidents as reported by Rizwan (the main FIR), they had no ground to club those complaints in the present FIR," the judge said.
"The present mindset shows the adamant approach to keep investigating all these additional complaints under one FIR itself, ignoring the mandate of law, that too after announcing the conclusion of investigation through charge sheets about the complicity of accused persons in all these complaints," the judge added.
Underscoring that the court cannot be a party to such an "illegal approach," the judge rejected the application.
He directed the SHO to take back all the additional complaints for the registration of separate cases and said the present case would only be heard in respect of the main FIR.
Directing the SHO to file a compliance report, the court listed the matter on December 13 for further proceedings. PTI MNR MNR VN VN