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Delhi Riots: Court Rebukes Police for Clubbing Complaints With Existing FIRs Based on Hearsay Evidence

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The observations by the Court came about in two different FIRs registered against three accused persons, namely Gulfam, Javed and Pappu alias Mustkeem.
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Representational image. | Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A Delhi Court, on Friday, November 17, reprimanded the Delhi Police "for clubbing 39 complaints in two Delhi riots against three accused persons." The Court held that the Police did so based on "hearsay evidence." While calling out the Police, the Court ordered further investigation into the complaints.

While hearing the case, Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala noted that the Police investigation did not include any evidence on record "to even confirm the date and time of the alleged incidents mentioned in the additional 39 complaints."

The observations by the Court came about in two different FIRs registered against three accused persons, namely Gulfam, Javed and Pappu alias Mustkeem.

The first FIR, number 100 of 2020, was registered at Dayalpur police station based on the complaint of a person named Aftab, who alleged that "the rioters looted his shop and set some article lying therein on fire." The investigation officer (IO) clubbed 17 more complaints with the FIR 100.

Similarly, in FIR 116 of 2020, which was also registered at the same police station, a person named Zameer Ahmed alleged that the rioters looted his shop. The IO again clubbed 22 additional complaints with this FIR for investigation.

The Court observed that the star witnesses produced by the prosecution to back their claims against the three accused persons "did not say anything about witnessing the incidents reported by the additional complaints."

"Thus, the stand of the prosecution to prosecute all the aforesaid additional complaints with the FIR lodged in this case, is found to be fallacious. The additional complaints were not completely investigated to even confirm the date and time of such incidents, on the basis of relevant evidence. IO simply relied upon the hearsay evidence of the additional complaints and clubbed these complaints in this case," the Court noted.

The Court made similar observations in two other orders, noting that the IO showing site plans to show the proximity of various places does not mean that "all incidents reported by additional complainants took place at the same time and by the same mob."

"The statements given by the additional complainants show that their knowledge about the time and date of the incident was based on information given to them by some different persons. Unfortunately, during the initial period of investigation, IO did not try to find out their particulars and to examine them, so as to ascertain the actual time and date of the incident in question."

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