A Delhi Court has pulled up the Delhi Police, observing that in a “large number of cases of riots, the standard of investigation is very poor” and that the police was filing “half-baked chargesheets” in such cases.
The observations of Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav came in an order framing rioting and other charges against accused Ashraf Ali and other another accused Parvez.
The order on framing of charges stated,
“It is noticed that after filing the half-baked chargesheets in Court, the police hardly bothers about taking the investigation to a logical end. The accused persons, who have been roped in multiple cases continue to languish in jails as a consequence thereof.”
Therefore, the Court said it was “high time” that the Deputy Commissioner of Police, North-East district, and other higher officers concerned took notice of its observations for immediate remedial action required in the matters.
It was suggested that the senior police officials were free to seek the assistance of experts in this regard, or else there was a likelihood of injustice being caused to the persons involved in these cases.
The Court had earlier lamented,
“It is really painful to note here that a large number of cases of riots have been pending consideration on charge before this Court and in majority of cases the IOs have not been appearing in Court, either physically or through video-conferencing at the time of consideration on charge.”
The Court stated that it was made to understand that the investigating officers (IOs) in such cases had not been briefing the Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) for arguments on charge.
“In the morning of the date of hearing on charge, they simply e-mail the 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,” it pointed out.
Judge Yadav further noted that it was “painful” that in a large number of such cases, the standard of investigation was very poor, as after the chargesheet was filed in Court, neither the IO nor the Station House Officer (SHO) or for that matter the supervising officers bothered to see what other material was required to be collected from the appropriate authority in the matters.
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“They don’t even bother to care for the queries of learned Special PPs, if any, regarding the chargesheet and the further investigation which is supposed to have been conducted in the matters,” it added.
The present case was stated be a glaring example, where the injured persons or victims were police personnel, but the IO hadn’t bothered to collect the sample of acid or corrosive substance or send it for chemical analysis, particularly when Section 326-A (punishment for acid attacks) of the Indian Penal Code had been invoked in the matter.
“The IO has further not bothered to collect the opinion about the nature of injuries upon the victims, particularly when the provision of Section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) IPC have been invoked. The supervising officers have miserably failed to supervise the investigation, as contemplated under Delhi High Court Rules, especially Rule Nos.10, 13 and 14 of Part A, Chapter 11, Volume-III as also Rule 3 Volume III Chapter 12. The learned Illaka Magistrate also failed to monitor the investigation during the course of remand proceedings before taking cognisance in the matter,” the Court noted.
On the point of framing of charges, the Court, however, held,
“I am of the considered opinion that prima facie there is enough material on record to frame charges against the accused persons under requisite sections.”
The two accused were allegedly “active members of a riotous mob,” who took active participation in attacking the police personnel on duty present at the scene of crime, causing injuries by throwing acid at them.
Through their counsel, the two men argued that of the alleged riotous mob comprising 150-200 persons, only the duo had been chargesheeted in the matter.
“Till date, the investigating agency has not been able to identify/apprehend any other accused person in the matter, which is very surprising and clearly points out towards their false implication,” it was argued.
SPP RCS Bhadoria appeared for the State whereas Advocates Salim Malik appeared for Ali and Z Babar Chauhan represented Parvez.