A Delhi court on Friday took cognisance of the charge sheet filed against suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain in the murder case of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma during communal violence in the city in February, while noting that he provoked his community against the other to promote enmity on the grounds of religion.
Metropolitan Magistrate Purushottam Pathak said: "He provoked his community against the other community with a view to promote enmity on the grounds of religion between Hindus and Muslims claiming that Hindu people have killed a number of Muslims and have set their shops on fire at Sherpur Chowk and they should not let any Hindu go scot free."
The court said that on his instigation, Muslims turned violent on February 24 and 25 and started burning shops and pelting stones and petrol bombs on Hindu community and also targeted their houses situated in that locality.
"Thereupon, the uncontrolled mob turned into rioters and in process of rioting, caught hold of Ankit Sharma, dragged him to Chand Bagh and caused his death by inflicting multiple injuries using sharp and blunt objects in a brutal manner and with a view to conceal the evidence threw his dead body in the drain," Pathak added.
Sharma was found dead in Chand Bagh area of Delhi's northeast district on February 25. His charred body was recovered from a drain and bore 51 sharp and blunt injuries, according to the post mortem report. In total, 53 people had lost their lives during the riots.
The Metropolitan Magistrate said that there is "sufficient material on record" to take cognisance of the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons. All the accused have been asked to appear before the court through video conferencing on August 28.
The court said that Hussain led the mob from his house and also from the mosque near Chand Bagh on February 24 and 25 and was instrumental in gathering of the unlawful assembly in conspiracy with accused persons namely Haseen, Nazim, Kasim, Sameer Khan, Anas, Firoz, Javed, Gulfam and Shoaib Alam.
The court took cognisance of the offense alleged to have been committed by Hussain - punishable under sections 109 (abetment), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code.
It also took cognisance of the offences punishable under section 147 and 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc), 365 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) alleged to have been committed by Hussain and other accused Haseen, Nazim, Kasim, Sameer Khan, Anas, Firoz, Javed, Gulfam and Shoaib Alam and sections of Arms Act against accused Haseen and Nazim.
The court was, however, informed that the police has not yet obtained sanction against Hussain and other co-accused in the case from the authorities concerned as required in a sedition case.
To this, the court said: "In this scenario when there is no time frame for obtaining sanction and that any delay in proceeding further in the matter will unnecessarily defeat the purpose for which the special courts for trial of riots cases have been created, I deem it fit to take cognisance of all the offences."