Delhi pogrom: Court slams police over ‘lackadaisical approach’ towards prosecution of cases

A Delhi court on Friday castigated the Delhi police for not taking proper steps for the prosecution of cases related to the anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi in February last year.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg said that if the police do not ensure effective prosecution of the cases, he will have to pass adverse orders, including imposing adjournment costs to be deducted from the salaries of the officers responsible.

Magistrate Garg said that the police’s failure to take measures for prosecution of the cases was causing an “avoidable delay in the trial.”

The court has asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to personally look into the matter.

“Such lackadisical approach on the part of the prosecution as well as the Investigating Agency in riots cases has been repeatedly brought to the notice of not only the DCP North East and Joint CP Eastern Range but has also been brought to the notice of the Commissioner of Police, Delhi. However, no steps for proper prosecution of the cases seem to have been taken by either of them and if taken, have not yet been brought to the notice of this Court,” Live Law quotes Judge Garg as observing.

The latest development came in an FIR registered at Gokulpuri Police Station on the basis of written complaint of a northeast Delhi resident Rizwan alleging that a riotous mob consisting of about 200-300 persons after breaking the locks of his house had vandalized the same and looted cash amounting to Rs.4,80,000.

According to Live Law, during the hearing on Friday, the Investigation Officer had made a request of adjournment on the ground that he had not gone through the police file and was unable to answer court queries.

The court said: “This Court is pained to note that the SHO Gokalpuri has not only failed to depute the substitute IO but also to ensure that the IO while appearing at 3.25 pm, should atleast have gone to the case file. He has also failed to ensure the presence of Ld. SPP except on the second call that too to seek a pass over.”

The matter was posted for further hearing on October 1.

The court had criticised the police on 6 September as well, and requested the Delhi Police chief to ensure expeditious investigation in cases related to the violence, according to news agency PTI.

In recent weeks, several other courts in the national capital have rebuked the Delhi police for their handling of cases relating to anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi.