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2020 Delhi riots: Court discharges five accused from charge of setting ablaze shop

The court was hearing a case where the shop of complainant Manzoor Ali was damaged, looted, and set on fire by a riotous mob in the Bhajanpura area in February 2020.

India TV News Desk Edited By: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: September 15, 2022 19:01 IST
2020 Delhi riots, Delhi riots, Delhi news, Delhi
Image Source : PTI (FILE PHOTO) Police stand guard as farmers gather for their protest at the Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug 22, 2022.

A sessions court here has discharged five accused from the charge of setting ablaze a shop in a case related to the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, saying the photographs of the shop did not show any sign of fire. The court also said that it could not be “blindly guided by the ocular evidence of the complainant and other witnesses.” The court, however, said that they will face trial for the offence of rioting.

Noting that the charge for an offence punishable under Section 436 of the Indian Penal Code, which was the only offence triable by a sessions court, was not made against the accused persons, Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala transferred back the case to the magisterial court concerned.

Section 436 deals with the offence of mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc. and is punishable with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and also liable to fine. The court was hearing a case where the shop of complainant Manzoor Ali was damaged, looted, and set on fire by a riotous mob in the Bhajanpura area in February 2020.

Five accused Irshad, Ravi Saxena, Gulfam, Ujer, and Jitender were then charged with various offences of the IPC, the prosecution said. The court noted that as per the statement of the complainant and other witnesses, the said shop was vandalised and burnt, but the photographs of the shop did not show any sign of fire.

“ It is possible that witnesses would have given their oral statement in a general manner and a flow because of several other incidents of arson taking place in that area,” the court said in an order dated September 14. “However, the court has to be sure about the case for an offence under Section 436 of the IPC and when from the photographs of the shop in question, it becomes clear that there was no fire in this shop, the court can not be blindly guided by ocular evidence of the complainant and other witnesses,” the court added.

“Hence, I find that charge for an offence punishable under Section 436 of the IPC is not made out against any accused persons in this case.

Accordingly, all the accused persons are discharged for the offence,” the judge said. The judge further said that as the other alleged offences were triable by a magisterial court, the case was remanded back to the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to proceed further in accordance with the law.
 
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Bhajanpura police station had registered an FIR against the accused persons under various provisions of the IPC, including rioting, armed with a deadly weapon, every member of the unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of common object and mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50, or upwards.

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