Delhi pogrom: Muslim complainant sustained gunshots shown as accused, Court questions inquiry

A Delhi court questioned the investigation in the 2020 northeast Delhi pogrom after a complainant named Sajid was named as an accused in an attempt-to-murder case.

“…curiously, Sajid during investigation was made an accused. One of the primary reasons was that since he had suffered a gunshot injury during the riots, he can be held to be the part of the riotous mob. By this logic, every injured person in a riots case can be made an accused,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat observed, reports Live Law.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, in an order passed on 18 August, said that the investigation in the attempt-to-murder case focussed on showing six Hindu men being part of the mob that assaulted Sajid. The six men were cleared of the charges. On 25 February 2020, while trying to escape a riotous Hindu mob – comprising the six men – Sajid was hit by a gunshot. During the probe, Sajid was examined and since he had suffered an injury, it was reasoned that he was part of the riotous mob.

“The investigation begs question as to how the prosecution, on one hand, has charged six accused persons under section 307 IPC, which is an attempt to murder, for the attempted murder of injured Sajid who has also been made as an accused in this case for the offence of rioting,” the court said.

The court noted that Sajid is a primary witness and an accused in the attempt-to-murder case against the six men. Therefore, the court said that without proving the gunshot injury, the attempt-to-murder charge cannot be proved, Live Law reported.

In March 2020, a constable said that all six persons were part of the riotous mob who attacked Sajid. While five of them were arrested on the principle of unlawful assembly, another accused person was later held after being identified by the constable.

“Thus, it seems that the entire focus of the investigation has been to show the involvement of 06 accused persons as involved with the riotous mob which led to a gunshot injury to Sajid,” court said.

The Judge further added that since only the constable’s statement was left who claimed that he identified all accused persons as participating in the riots.