Delhi Riots: Court Pulls Up Police Witnesses for 'Lying on Oath'

The court's remarks add to a long string of criticism which has been levied against the Delhi police for their poor handling of investigations related to the riots.

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New Delhi: One of the police witnesses in a North-East Delhi riots case is lying on oath, a Delhi court has said after one policeman identified three alleged rioters but another said that they could not be identified during the investigation.

This is a very sorry state of affairs, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Vinod Yadav said, seeking a report from the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) in this regard.

ASJ Yadav made the observations after the examinations of four prosecution witnesses in the case, which pertains to the February, 2020 riots in which 53 people had died and over 700 were injured.

Also read: Delhi Court Slams Police for ‘Poor Standard of Investigation’ in Riot Cases

Notably, a head constable told the judge under oath that, in his evidence that he had identified rioters Vikas Kashyap, Golu Kashyap and Rinku Subziwala. The constable is one of the prosecution’s witnesses.

“I had been the beat officer of the concerned area since the year 2019. I knew all the four accused persons and Vikas Kashyap, Golu Kashyap and Rinku Subziwala by name and their appearance prior to the incident,” he stated during the examination.

ASJ Yadav noted that the policeman categorically asserted the presence of these three persons there at the time of riots and identified them by their names as well as their professions.

On the contrary, another prosecution witness, an assistant sub-inspector stated that the three accused, although specifically named by the head constable, could not be identified during the probe.

Meanwhile, the investigating officer (IO) of the case said that there is nothing on record to substantiate that the three accused were ever investigated, despite their names being there on record.

The judge then noted that it had stated that the identity of these accused persons could not be established during investigation. There is no material on record that efforts were ever made by the IO to apprehend the said accused persons. Prima facie, one of the police witnesses is lying on oath, which is punishable under Section 193 IPC.

It was also brought to the notice of the court by the defence counsels that these three persons have also been specifically named as accused in another FIR, but even in that case they were not interrogated.

Also read: Delhi Riots | ‘Complete Lack of Supervision, FIRs Clubbed to Protect Accused’: Court Slams Police

The court has finished recording the prosecution’s evidence and listed the matter for recording of the statements of accused on October 30.

This case was registered on two complaints filed by Delhi’s Bhagrathi Vihar area alleging that a riotous mob had robbed and vandalised their property on February 26 last year. Charges of arson, theft and rioting have been framed against four accused.