It has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the cops.
The court was hearing a revision petition filed by the police against a magistrate court’s order of October 21, 2020, directing them to file a separate FIR on the complaint of Mohammad Nasir, a riot victim. Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav also lifted the stay on the magistrate court’s order and paved the way for registration of a separate FIR on the complaint.
Nasir had alleged in his complaint, filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha, that on February 24, 2020, one Naresh Tyagi had fired at him while he was returning home due to which he had suffered a gunshot injury in his left eye.
Nasir said in his complaint that he was taken to a hospital and then discharged on March 12, 2020. After a few days, he made a written complaint to the SHO of Bhajanpura police station, wherein he named Naresh Tyagi, Subhash Tyagi, Uttam Tyagi, Sushil, Naresh Gaur and some other persons as the alleged assailants, but no FIR was registered by the police. He had also written to the DCP (North-East) on July 3 last year, seeking protection under Delhi Witness Protection Scheme but to no avail.
In the meantime, one FIR no 64/2020 was registered at the police station on February 25, 2020, about the rioting in the area which stated that seven persons, including the complainant, had received gunshot injuries on the same day. But the place of occurrence mentioned there was different from that of Nasir’s incident. Five accused persons — Sameer Saifi, Salman, Jubair, Sohail and Mohd Shoaib — were arrested in this case for allegedly causing damage to life and properties of Hindus.
Nasir had approached the court on July 17, 2020, through advocates Pracha, Sanawar Choudhary and Jatin Bhat, seeking registration of a separate FIR in the case.
The police then informed the magistrate’s court about FIR no 64/2020 wherein, it claimed, the grievance of the complainant had been suitably addressed and hence there was no need to lodge a separate FIR in the case. The police also submitted that he had been made a witness in the case.
The investigating officer had added that the persons named by Nasir in his complaint had been questioned but no evidence had been found against them.
After examining the facts and circumstances of the case, ASJ Vinod Yadav said in his order that the investigation in the FIR that had been registered had been carried out in the “most casual, callous and farcical manner”. It said the facts and the case diaries of the registered FIR revealed a “very shocking state of affairs”.
It noted that FIR no. 64/2020 was in respect of Mohanpuri and Maujpur and not North Ghonda, which was the place of the incident in Nasir’s complaint. It said though the police knew about seven persons having received gunshot injuries, section 307 (attempt to murder) and sections of the Arms Act were not initially invoked in the FIR for “reasons best known to them”.
The court said it had been noted in the case diary recorded on March 14 that the police had been searching for the victims, meaning that they were not aware of the names and addresses of the victims, which was “quite surprising”.
Another case diary in the matter was recorded a few days later in which it was stated that two of the accused had caused damage to life and properties of Hindus, but not a single Hindu victim’s name was mentioned, it said. Going by the case diary, it was only in May that a search operation for the victims in the case was launched, noted the court.
The court said when two separate complaints disclosing cognizable offences are filed by two different complainants, there is no provision under which the investigating agency can club such complaints and carry out an investigation.
It added that it was clearly evident that the defence for the accused persons named in Nasir’s complaint has been sought to be “created by the police”.
“Seeing the matter from any angle, I have not been able to persuade myself about the efficacy and fairness of the investigation carried out in the matter,” the judge said.
“I do not find any merit in this revision petition. The same accordingly stands dismissed with a cost of Rs.25,000, which shall be deposited with Delhi Legal Services Authority by DCP (North-East) within one week from today and the said amount shall be recovered from the petitioner and his supervising officers, who have miserably failed in their statutory duties in this case after holding a due inquiry in this regard,” he said.
Additional public prosecutor Rajeev Krishan Sharma, appearing for the police, had submitted that an FIR need not be an encyclopaedia of all the facts and circumstances of the case on which the prosecution relies and rather it was a piece of evidence which could be used for corroborating the case of the prosecution.
Pracha claimed a separate FIR was required to be registered as the so-called unlawful assemblies were different and distinct and had different common objects and the accused persons chargesheeted in the registered case could not have a common object of causing harm to the persons of their own community, particularly in a situation of communal riots.