Court orders FIR and probe into a riots complaint which Delhi Police had shelved

Court orders FIR and probe into a riots complaint which Delhi Police had shelved

A Delhi court has ordered the police to register an FIR and conduct a “fair, independent and impartial” probe into a riots case where the police had closed the inquiry despite the fact that video recordings against the accused were submitted as evidence by the complainant.

The November 23 order, by Metropolitan Magistrate Fahad Uddin, is related to a case where Saleem, a resident of Yamuna Vihar, alleged that on February 24 this year, his neighbours Subhash Tyagi and Ashok Tyagi opened fire and attacked his house. He also alleged that his neighbour, Nasheer, was shot.

The police told the court that Saleem was himself involved in the riots, was arrested on March 19, and had filed a “false complaint to save himself”. Saleem is out on bail.

After a probe, the police claimed, “no cognizable offence was found to be made out and hence no FIR has been registered in (Saleem’s complaint) case,” and so the inquiry was closed.

Rejecting this, the court said that after a “perusal of the material placed on record”, especially the “video footage of the alleged incident”, it was of the view that “a cognizable offence is made out” and that “the offences alleged…require to be investigated by the police”.

Citing a certificate under The Evidence Act, the court indicated that the electronic evidence was admissible evidence.

“This Court deems fit to direct the SHO P.S. Jafrabad to register an FIR at the earliest under the appropriate Sections of law on the basis of the allegations made in the Complaint…and to ensure that a fair, independent and impartial investigation is made…and a final report filed…without delay,” the court ordered.

It added that Deputy Commissioner of Police, North East – under which Jafrabad falls – should monitor the probe.
Saleem’s complaint also names Naresh Tyagi, Uttam Tyagi, and Supreme Maheswari who figure as accused by the Delhi police in the murder of one Parvez (48) during the riots.

The Indian Express had first reported on discrepancies in the police chargesheet in Parvez’s murder case: how sections of Arms Act were dropped; CCTV footage of the incident was not found by the police; and that all accused had deleted their mobile phone data from the days of the riots.

Significantly, an office-bearer of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Devesh Mishra, among those questioned by the police in Parvez’s case, had lodged a formal complaint that “false cases” were being foisted “on innocent Hindus”.

Calling for an FIR in Saleem’s case, the court said: “…The allegations are serious in nature and pertain to the protection of the right to life and property of the complainant. The equal protection of laws cannot be denied to the complainant merely on account of registration of certain FIRs against him…and on the assumption of the IO (Investigating Officer) that the complaint is false and made to save the complainant and that too without even registering an FIR and conducting an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations made by the complainant.”

In its order, the court also put on record the alleged response of Delhi Police in handling the complaint.

“It has been alleged…some anti-social people who are his neighbours…fired gunshots at his house, pelted stones and threw petrol bombs…The complainant asked for help but no police personnel arrived at the spot. The complainant also made a written complaint on March 1 (2020), with the SHO PS Jafrabad and further to DCP concerned on March 17 but no action has been taken…so far by the police.

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