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Delhi Riots: Miscarriage of Justice to disbelieve Witnesses, says Delhi Court

2 min read

Chaini Parwani –

Published On: October 15, 2021 at 09:45 IST

A City Court in Delhi drafted charges against nine people held in a northeast Delhi riots case mentioning it would be a miscarriage of Justice to not believe witnesses at this stage and eject the Prosecution case solely because there was a delay in recording their Statements.

“The delay in recording the statements of the witnesses did not appear to be deliberate or contumacious,” Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat stated.

The Court stated that the Accused cannot claim discharge merely because there was a delay and that the situation might have not been favourable for the witnesses during or after the Riots.

The charges included Indian Penal Code Sections 147 (Rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (Unlawful assembly), 380 (Theft), 427 (Mischief), 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 452 (House-Trespass). 

Further, the Police highlighted that the nine accused were reportedly part of a mob that ruined and burnt public and private properties.

The Counsel for the accused argued that the witnesses were not reliable because their statements had been recorded after a delay of over a month.

Further, the Court observed that, as informed by the Public Prosecutor, the witnesses had become so horrified that they were unwilling to come forth and present their description of the incident before the Investigating Agency.

Furthermore, the Judge highlighted the prosecution’s submission that shortly after the situation became usual to some extent, the pandemic emerged in a complete lockdown from the second week of March 2020, which also postponed the recording of the statements of witnesses.

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