New Delhi: Delhi's Karkardooma Court on Wednesday acquitted an accused in a case of rioting, vandalism and destroying property by fire in Karawal Nagar during North Delhi riots.
The court while acquitting the accused said that the Prosecution has failed to establish the presence of accused in riotous mob.
The court pulled up the Prosecution and observed, "Prosecution cannot raise presumption on the basis of one old video, to allege that accused was part of riotous mob in all subsequent incidents."
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pulastya Pramachala, after considering submission, facts and evidence, acquitted accused Praveen Giri from all charges leveled against him by the Prosecution.
"My foregoing discussion and observations lead me to hold that prosecution though established the incident of riot, vandalism and arson, but it failed to prove presence of accused in the unlawful assembly responsible for such incidents, beyond reasonable doubts," ASJ Pramachala said in the judgement passed on September 27.
The court said, " In view of my foregoing discussions, observations and findings, accused Praveen Giri is hereby acquitted of all the charges levelled against him in this case."
The court said that the video relied upon in this case, admittedly did not pertain to any of the incidents probed in this case.
The argument that video shows continuity of involvement of accused in riot from the night of 25.02.2020 upto 26.02.2020 is fallacious, as it is not based on any evidence.
The judge further said that it appears that the stand of prosecution of identification of accused by Prosecution Witness (PW) Afsar after his apprehension on 02.07.2020 is not full proof.
"Such stand might have been subsequently crafted. PW Afsar probably did not see accused during the incident, and he might have been tutored about his identity subsequently, on the basis of showing his photograph," remarked the judge.
The judge observed that the moot question is that whether accused herein was part of the mob responsible for both the aforesaid incidents?
Once again PW Afsar is the only witness of the prosecution, to prove this allegation. This witness deposed that he had identified accused before police as one of the persons among the rioters, who vandalized his house, said the court.
"However, it is worth to notice that this witness had himself prepared his complaint, but in that complaint he did not even whisper about seeing anyone in the mob of rioters," said the judge.
Moreover, he deposed that he had seen accused in police station on 01.03.2020, though as per case of prosecution, accused was arrested by on 02.07.2020 and PW Afsar visited police station on that day.
Interestingly during examination in chief of PW Afsar, Learned prosecutor did not ask the date of identifying accused before police, the judge noted in the judgement.
The court also noted that PW Afsar in his cross examination mentioned the date of 01.03.2020, when he visited police station and identified accused. He also mentioned about photo of accused being shown to him by police subsequently.
Learned prosecutor did not cross examine him on the aspect of date of identifying the accused in police station or regarding photo being shown to him, the court further noted.
Accused was charge-sheeted by the police for having committed offences punishable under Section 147/148/149/188/394/427/454/436 IPC, on the basis of two complaints made by complainants Afsar, and Mohd Ashfaq, regarding incidents of vandalism, robbery and setting on fire their properties by the riotous mob in and around the area of West Kamal Vihar, particularly in gali no.3 and gali no.5, Karawal Nagar, Delhi, during early morning hours of 26.02.2020 till late morning hours.
Accused was represented by advocate Shailendra Singh in this case. He argued that accused was falsely implicated in this case, on the basis of one video planted in the case. Video was used for identification and it doesn't pertain to incident.
On the other hand, the SPP argued that video proved that riot had taken place on 25.02.2020 at 12 AM and it also proved continuation of offence. It also shows that accused had been taking part in riot. It was further argued that on 26.02.2020, accused was seen by PW Afsar.