The riots in Northeast Delhi had left 53 dead. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna)

A Delhi court has framed charges against seven men accused in the murder of a Muslim man who was killed while walking towards his house after buying sweets during the northeast Delhi riots.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav has framed charges under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code read with Sections 149 (offence committed by any member of unlawful assembly in prosecution of common object) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC against Aman Kashyap, Arun Kumar, Ashish, Devender Kumar, Pradeep Rai, Krishan Kant Dhiman and Rahul Bhardwaj.

The court, however, noted that the prosecution hadn’t been able to establish offences punishable under Sections 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) of IPC and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

In this case, the victim Monish was returning home after meeting with his father and carrying sweets. When he reached Yamuna bus stand, he saw the riots had erupted. He was killed by a mob with sticks and stones after his Muslim identity was established.

The court said that the “though, the accused persons are not seen/visible in any CCTV footage/video-clip”, however, at this stage it had the ocular evidence of a prosecution witness (PW).

“I find substance in the submissions of Special PP that PW is not a “statue” who was merely lying stationary at one place and instead his bonafide cannot be doubted at this stage because he had duly made call to the PCR which is contemporaneous to the time of commission of incident in the matter,” the order read.

The lawyers for the accused persons told the court that their clients were “falsely implicated by the investigating agency.”

The prosecution, on the other hand, argued that the delay in filing the FIR was largely due to “police officials of the Dayalpur police station were busy in fulfilling their law and order duties amid the riots”.

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