Northeast Delhi Violence: Court discharges five persons accused of setting shops on fire
A Delhi Court hearing the Northeast Delhi riots case has recently discharged five accused for the offence of setting shops on fire during the riots in February 2020 in the Karawal Nagar area.The court while discharging the accused persons, noted non-disclosure of offence in the statement and photographs of shops.
However, the court has remanded the matter back to the magistrate court for a hearing on offences related to rioting and others. Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma Court discharged five accused namely Om Prakash, Mukesh, Rohit, Saurabh and Ankit of the offence under section 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy property...) IPC.
The judge said, "I find that offence under Section 436 IPC is not made out against any of the
accused persons. Hence, all accused persons are discharged for offences under Section 436 IPC."Charge Sheet was filed for offences under Section 147/148/149/188/380/454/427/436 IPC. Out of these offences, only Section 436 IPC is a session triable offence.
This charge sheet was filed after investigating the 5 complaints made by GulabAhmed, Firoz Khan, Shahid Khan, Islam and Mohd. Nasir. In their complaints, none of these complainants made any allegation about setting their shop or house on fire by the riotous mob.
Investigation Officer (IO) took my attention to the statement of Gulab Ahmed that was recorded by police wherein he alleged that the mob entered into his shop and the shop of his son Raju Malik, after breaking open the shutter. Mob committed vandalism, loot and set fire, the court noted in the order of September 27.
The court observed, " The statement does not show or mention as to what was set on fire. Setting fire any goods after taking them outside the shop (as alleged in the complaints of other complainants like Md. Nasir and Sh. Islam) itself cannot invite Section 436 IPC."
The court's attention was also taken to the photographs of the shop of complainant Gulab Ahmed and the photographs make it amply clear that his shop was not set on fire at all. The IO submits that the crime team had inspected the shop, only after repair of the same and hence, it cannot be of any use for the purposes of charge under Section 436 IPC.