Delhi Riots: Court Slams Delhi Police For "Very Poor" Standard Of Probe

Delhi courts have repeatedly pulled up Delhi Police for its standard of investigation in the 2020 communal riots cases.

A Delhi Court on Saturday pulled up the Delhi Police observing that "in a large number of cases of [Delhi] riots, the standard of investigation is very poor". After filing "half-baked chargesheets in court, the police has hardly bothered about taking the investigation to a logical end," Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav observed.

"The accused persons, who have been roped in multiple cases, continue to languish in jails as a consequence thereof. It is high time that the DCP of Northeast District and other higher officers concerned take notice of the aforesaid observations and take immediate remedial action required in the matters," the court order read.

The court's observation came as it framed charges against two men accused of participating in a mob that attacked the 65th Battalion of the Sashastra Seema Bal during the Northeast Delhi riots in February 2020. The court has charged Ashraf Ali and Parvez for rioting, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by use of acid, voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty among other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

Also Read: State Blurred Lines Between Right to Protest and Terrorism: Delhi HC

Standard of investigation in Delhi Riots Cases very poor: Court

After framing charges in the particular case, the judge pointed out that it was "really painful to note" that charges for consideration have been pending in a large number of Delhi riots' cases because the "IOs (Investigating Officers) have not been appearing in court, either physically or through video-conferencing, at the time of consideration on charge".

The probe officers have not been briefing the Special Public Prosecutors (PP) who represent the Delhi Police in court. "On the morning of the date of hearing on charge, they simply e-mail PDF of the chargesheet to the learned Special PP and leave it upon him to argue the matter on charge as it is, without giving him an opportunity to go deep into the facts and the investigation conducted in the matter," the court observed.

"It is further painful to note that in a large number of cases of riots, the standard of investigation is very poor. After filing of chargesheet in the court, neither the IO nor SHO (Station House Officer) nor the supervising officers bother to see as to what other material is required to be collected from the appropriate authority… and what steps are required to be taken to take the investigation to a logical end," the court said.

Referring to the matter at hand, the court said that even when the victims were police personnel, the probe officers did not collect information about the nature of injuries, particularly when the provision of IPC Section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) has been invoked, the court added.

The supervising officers miserably failed to supervise the investigation under the Delhi High Court Rules, the court added. "They don't even bother to care for the queries of learned Special PPs, regarding the chargesheet and the further investigation which is supposed to have been conducted in the matters. This case is a glaring example, wherein injured persons/victims are police personnel itself."

Also Read: Delhi Riots Case: Court Pulls Up Police, Calls Probe Casual, Callous

Delhi Riots Probe Casual, Callous: Court

This is not the first time ASJ Yadav has pulled up the police for their investigation in the Delhi Riots.

Last month on July 13, the judge had observed that the Delhi Police investigation in a particular matter pertaining to February 2020 North-East communal riots was done in the "most casual, callous and farcical manner".

The court's observation had come on a Delhi Police plea against a court order directing it to register an FIR on a complaint filed by a riot victim who lost an eye during the violence.

On April 26, ASJ Yadav had said that in "several cases" (Delhi Riots) the court had noticed a "complete lack of supervision of the investigation(s) by the senior police officers of the district". The court's observation came while it dismissed a review plea filed by the Delhi police challenging a Metropolitan Magistrate's order directing it to register an FIR in the Northeast Delhi riots case pertaining to the murder of Amin, who showed several head injuries, who was found by the police in the sewer.

"I do not find any substance in the present petition filed by the state. The investigating agency has evidently been found to be on the wrong side of the law. This Court has found in several cases of riots in the entire length and breadth of police stations in North-East Delhi that there was a complete lack of supervision of the investigation(s) by the senior police officers of the District. All is not over yet. If the senior officers now look into the matter(s) and take remedial measures required in the matter(s), so that justice could be given to the victims," ASJ Yadav had said.

In yet another matter, this one pertaining to the investigation of the burning of a mosque, ASJ Yadav on April 7 had said the Delhi Police had proceeded in a "hurried and unholy haste". The court had said that the police officer had not investigated this matter which showed "the callous attitude of the police in the investigation".

Updated On: 2021-08-31T12:26:16+05:30
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