By Usha Das

NEW DELHI: A city court has directed police to investigate whether a deliberate attempt was made by the investigating officer to shield five accused in a northeast Delhi riots case related to vandalism and looting of a medical store.

Additional sessions judge Virender Bhat said the five men were being discharged not because the incident did not take place or that they were falsely implicated, but merely because there was no sufficient evidence produced against them.

DCP (Northeast) was ordered to conduct the probe and submit a report to the court on the next date of hearing.
The court observed it was not insensitive towards the mental agony and financial loss suffered by the complainant, but sensitivity or emotions alone couldn’t be taken into consideration while deciding the fate of any accused. “These cannot take the place of evidence. There should be sufficient and legally admissible evidence based on which charges can be framed, which is lacking in this case,” it added.
It was further noted that during an unlawful assembly or when a large number of people take part in arson or a clash, to convict an accused at least two prosecution witnesses have to support and identify their role and involvement. However, in this case it was evident from the chargesheet that there was only one eyewitness, the complainant himself.

“The complainant himself had not identified the accused directly from the mob. He identified them as assailants from photographs shown to him in the police station on March 15, 2020. There are no other witnesses who identified, either directly or indirectly, the accused to be the assailants,” the November 22 order mentioned.
The judge said charges couldn’t be framed against the accused taking into account the material annexed with the chargesheet and there was no possibility of their conviction at the final stage. “It would be a sheer wastage of judicial time if the charges are to be framed against the accused upon consideration of the evidence on record based on which the accused may be acquitted later,” he added.
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