New Delhi: A court here Wednesday convicted a person of various offences in connection with the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, including arson, robbery and rioting, saying the charges were proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court also held another accused guilty of dishonestly and receiving stolen property.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case against Noor Mohammad alias Noora and Nabi Mohammad.
Noor was accused of being a part of a riotous mob that torched an automobile shop and some vehicles, besides looting other shops and robbing two shopowners of their mobile phones on during the riots in Karawal Nagar February 24, 2020.
According to the prosecution, Nabi had purchased the looted mobile phone from Noor despite being aware it was stolen.
The court rejected the argument of the defence counsel challenging the credibility of Noor’s identification by a key witness, saying his testimony was “improvised”.
Noting that the witness, Shiv Kumar Raghav, was the president of the area’s market association and that he had identified Noor as the culprit who snatched his mobile phone, the court said just because he did not mention some “minor details” before the police, his statement could not be called as improvised.
The court said, “The defence has not projected any motive for prosecution witness (PW) 3 (Raghav) to falsely implicate accused Noora in this case except for the suggestion that he did so on the tutoring of the investigating officer (IO). Mere a bald suggestion cannot be given much attention”.
It said the recovery of Raghav’s mobile phone, based on Noora’s information that it was sold to Nabi, also confirmed the accused’s identification as the robber.
“The testimony of PW3 therefore establishes that accused Noora was part of the rioters, which attacked the property (market association’s office),” the court said.
“This goes on to prove that accused Noora was not only personally involved in robbing the mobile phone and cash amount from PW3 and prosecution witness (PW) 2 (Dalip, owner of a vehicle service centre) respectively, but he was also involved along with other rioters in vandalising and setting ablaze the shop of PW2 and the motorcycles lying therein,” it added.
The court further said that the same mob had vandalised and torched another furniture shop in the area.
Regarding Nabi, the court said he had failed to offer and establish a justification for possessing the mobile phone. “Therefore, accused Nabi Mohammad is presumed to be in possession of this robbed mobile phone with the requisite culpable knowledge,” the court said.
“I find that charges levelled against both the accused persons in this case are proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” the court added.
The Khajuri Khas police station had filed a chargesheet against Noor for the penal provisions of arson, causing mischief by fire, robbery and rioting, while Nabi was accused of dishonestly receiving stolen property.