Delhi Riots: HC Stays Rs 25,000 Costs on Police, Refuses to Interfere With Trial Court Order

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav had pulled up the police and said that its investigation had been casual, callous, and farcical.

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New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday, July 28, stayed the imposition of Rs 25,000 costs on the police in a case related to north-east Delhi riots but refused to interfere with the trial court’s strictures against its investigation at this stage.

“We can’t expunge the remarks without hearing you (Police). Costs may not be deposited till the next date of hearing,” said Justice Subramonium Prasad who was hearing Delhi Police’s challenge to a trial court order calling its investigation into the case callous and farcical, and imposing Rs 25,000 costs.

The trial court order was passed in a challenge to the magisterial court order that had directed Delhi Police to register an FIR on the complaint of one Mohammad Nasir, who has lost his left eye after suffering a gunshot injury during the riots.

On October 27, 2020, Metropolitan Magistrate Richa Manchanda had directed the Bhajanpura Police Station SHO to lodge a case against Nasir’s complaint – which he had pleaded that police were ignoring – within 24 hours of receiving the order.

This was challenged by the Delhi Police.

In his order on July 14, Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav had pulled up the police for lack of efficacy and fairness in the investigation in the case and said that it had been done in a most casual, callous, and farcical manner.

“Police have miserably failed in their statutory duties” in the case, he said, also noting that police had sought to create a “defence for the accused persons named in Nasir’s complaint”.

In his complaint, Nasir had mentioned that a mob led by Naresh Tyagi, Shubhash Tyagi, Uttam Tyagi and Sushil had perpetrated the injuries on him during the riots. A report by The Quint had established close links between the named and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The high court on Wednesday issued notice on Delhi Police’s plea against the trial court order and sought response of the complainant, Nasir, in 10 days.

Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for the police, said that at present, the main grievance was against the costs and the strictures. He also submitted that an FIR pertaining to the alleged incident had already been “thoroughly investigated and the accused was found to be not present at the spot at the relevant time.”

Also read: ‘Casual, Callous, Farcical’: Delhi Court Fines, Raps Police Over Handling of Riots Case

“All investigation will lead to one conclusion,” Raju said.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, representing the complainant, claimed that the police’s stand was misleading and his client was under tremendous pressure to withdraw his pleas before court.

The matter will be heard next on September 13.

In its challenge to the trial court order, police said the imposition of fine, which was to be recovered from the station house officer (SHO) of Bhajanpura police station and his supervising officers, was unwarranted and uncalled for.

Filed through advocates Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair, the plea argues that the July 13 order was in “violation of principles of natural justice as it was passed without giving any opportunity to the DCP to make his submissions, and that very serious remarks were made against the investigation even prior to the commencement of trial.”

Police had said there was no need to register a separate FIR on the basis of the complaint as it had already registered one earlier and there was no evidence against the persons who allegedly shot him as they were not present in Delhi at the time of the incident.

Judge Yadav had, significantly, noted how Section 307 of IPC (shooting with an intention to kill) and Section 25 of Arms Act had not been invoked while registering the FIR even though several people had received – in a fact acknowledged by the police – gunshot wounds.

The judge had also said that Mohammad Nasir was free to exhaust his remedies available to him in accordance with the law to get a separate FIR registered in respect of his complaint.

(With PTI inputs)