Although the accused were deemed to be “completely bereft of any reasoning” in the criminal conspiracy charge against them, the court maintained that the accused were, at least on the face of it, members of an armed looting mob that attacked police officers.
In a case related to the 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, a Delhi court on Friday framed charges of rioting and attempted murder against activist Khalid Saifi, a former Congress councillor, and eleven other people.
Extra Meetings However, Judge Amitabh Rawat found the accused not guilty of using illegal firearms and engaging in criminal conspiracy.
Regarding the criminal conspiracy charge, the Court determined that the accused was not adequately supported by any evidence.
Nonetheless, the Court determined that the accused individuals were, at least on the face of it, members of a “riotous armed mob” that had “assembled and refused to follow the direction of police” to disperse, hurled stones, and physically attacked police officers.
The following sections of the Indian Penal Code have been used to charge the accused Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Vikram Pratap, Samir Ansari @ Samim, Mohd. Salim @ Samir Pradhan, Sabu Ansari, Iqbal Ahmed, Anzaar @ Bhoora, Mohd. Ilyas, Mohd. Bilal Saifi @ Lamba, Salim Ahmed @ Salim @ Gunda, Mohd. Yameen @ Yameen Coolerwala, and Sharif Khan @ Sharif Khureji:
- Section 147 – rioting
- Section 148 – Rioting, armed with deadly weapon
- Section 186 – Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions
- Section 188 – Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant
- Section 332 – Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty
- Section 353 – Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty
- Section 307 – attempt to murder.
For the offenses under other sections of the Arms Act and the IPC, all of the accused were found not guilty. The weapon that was allegedly used during the protest was only in the possession of a minor, the court concluded.
The complainant and eyewitness to the incident, Head Constable Yograj, has “categorically identified” that all of the accused were a part of an unlawful assembly, the Court said in reference to the remaining charges.
“In his statement, Inspector/SHO Sunil Kumar, another police witness who was on the scene, named the accused as members of the unlawful assembly (as previously reported by HC Yograj). The Court stated that in addition to naming the accused, he also assigned blame for the offenses and deeds of the accused.
It is claimed that one of the juveniles involved in the illegal assembly shot the police officer. The Court did point out that there is uncertainty regarding the precise moment of firing, though.
“The time frame is clear, and witnesses can clarify the same during trial, even though there is a small discrepancy about the time that could have been clarified by the IO but was not done.”
The Court described the Investigating Officer’s charge of criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the IPC as a “figment of imagination” and suggested that the idea might have been taken from another case.
“Although the accused individuals have been charged with the aforementioned conspiracy, for which the investigating officer has devoted several paragraphs, they are unrelated to any material that the investigating officer has either discovered or depended upon,” the statement stated.
The accused would be put on trial at the Karkardooma Court, which would be pertinent.
Prior to his transfer to the Rouse Avenue District Courts, Judge Amitabh Rawat had reserved the decision regarding the framing of the charges.