ANI Photo | North-East Delhi violence: Court acquits four accused of murder-rioting charges in three cases

A Delhi court hearing North East Delhi riots cases acquitted four out of five men from murder-rioting charges in three cases related to the 2020 violence in the area.
These cases pertain to the area under police station Dayal Pur in North East Delhi. These cases were lodged in 2020 in connection with the murders of three men during riots in February 2020.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pulastya Pramachala acquitted four out of five accused namely Ashok Kumar, Ajay alias Monu, Shubham and Jitender Kumar from murder-rioting charges.
The fifth man namely Arif alias Mota was not charged with the offence of murder. He also has been acquitted of other offences related to riots.
These cases were lodged in connection with the killings of Mehtab, Jakir and Ashfaq Hussain.
While acquitting the accused persons, the court said that there was no evidence to even establish any of the accused being part of rioters at the given place and time.
Therefore, all the accused persons are acquitted of all the charges alleged against them in this case, the court said.
“My foregoing discussions, observations and findings, show that prosecution could not prove that any of the accused persons was involved in the killing of Mahtab. Accused Arif alias Mota was not even charged for the killing of Mahtab,” ASJ Pramachala said in the judgement dated February 16, 2024.
The Court asked whether the accused persons were there in that unlawful assembly, that killed Mahtab? In this respect, there is no evidence on record. The sole eye witness of the prosecution turned hostile.
The court noted that the Prosecution brought some circumstantial evidence in the form of CDR, and recovery of scissors, a sword and the cloth worn by some of the accused persons, based on alleged disclosure statements made by them.
The court termed the CDR as weak evidence and said It only shows the presence and use of a particular mobile number at a particular place. The user of that mobile phone can be anyone.
“Therefore, one cannot reach a concrete conclusion about the presence of a particular person at a particular place, solely based on CDR of a mobile phone,” the court said.
They pointed out that As far as the sword and scissors, recovered, are concerned, it is not the case of the prosecution that these weapons were found with remnants of the blood of the deceased, to show that they were the weapons through which the deceased was killed.
The Court also noted that clothes allegedly worn by the accused persons at the
time of the riot are concerned, they do not have any connection with an incident in question.
“Neither any positive result of the forensic examination was proved to show that these clothes had the stain of the blood belonging to the deceased, nor the presence of the accused persons among the rioters was proved through any piece of evidence,” the court observed.
“The CCTV footage as relied upon by the prosecution, was never played to show the appearance of the accused therein and to show if such video was connected with the incident in question in any manner,” the court further observed.
Advocate Rakshpal Singh, counsel for accused Ashok, Ajay alias Monu and Shubham argued that neither Prosecution witness Shashi Kant identified any accused, nor did he tell the role of any accused.
He further argued that the Investigation Officer (IO) deposed that he did not go
to the spot for any recovery, though he made such a plea in the charge sheet. He falsified his chargesheet.
It was also argued that as per prosecution the video was of February 27, 2020, though the incident pertains to February 25, 2020.
Special PP Madhukar Pandey stated that footage of a CCTV camera installed near the Chawla Kirana Store established the presence of accused persons namely Ashok Kumar, Arif and Ajay in the riotous mob dated February 25, 2020

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