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A court in New Delhi has acquitted a man of the charges of rioting and criminal conspiracy, saying the prosecution had “completely and miserably” failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The court was hearing a case against Mohammed Asif, who was accused of being a member of a riotous unlawful assembly that was armed with deadly weapons and indulged in vandalism, violence and criminal trespass on February 29, 2020, during northeast Delhi communal riots.

According to the prosecution, Mr. Asif, accompanied by eight to 10 unknown rioters, and armed with stones and sticks, unlawfully stepped onto the terrace of the complainant and attempted to enter his house in Chauhan Banger locality in Shahdara.

“I am of the considered opinion that the prosecution has failed to establish its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused. Accordingly, accused Mr. Asif…is hereby acquitted…,” Metropolitan Magistrate Abhinav Pandey said in an order passed last week.

The judge also said: “The prosecution has completely and miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

The court said the complainant, Sachin Rawal, and his brother did not support the prosecution’s version of events at all.

Since the material and eyewitnesses did not support the prosecution’s case, the court did not deem it expedient to record the testimony of the remaining witnesses, who were merely formal witnesses, it said.

“Nothing incriminating could come on record against the accused and there are no circumstances appearing against him in the prosecution evidence, and therefore the examination of the accused…was dispensed with,” the court said.

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