New Delhi: A court here has dismissed a revision petition filed by the Delhi Police against the order of a magisterial court to register a separate FIR on the basis of a complaint pertaining to the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.
Upholding the order directing the station house officer (SHO) concerned to register a case, the sessions court said that just because there was a flood of complaints, the investigating agency could not make an exception to the mandate of law.
The court also observed that an excess number of complaints cannot be a reason for the clubbing them together unless there was the proximity of time and place showing “continuous action” by the perpetrators in the alleged crime.
The court was hearing the matter wherein the complainant, Mohd Vakil, had moved an application for the registration of a separate case, rather than attaching his complaint in an FIR registered by Karawal Nagar police station, and the magisterial court in November last year had allowed his plea.
Against the magisterial court’s order, the Delhi Police had filed the present revision petition in the sessions court.
“Excess number of complaints cannot be a ground to club all or several complaints without there being the proximity of time and place of the alleged crime, so as to show continuous action of the perpetrators,” Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala said in an order passed on Tuesday.
The judge also said there was no “illegality” committed by the magistrate.
The judge noted that complainant Mohd Vakil, a resident of Shiv Vihar, claimed to have been injured by an acid bottle thrown on his house by some rioters on February 25, 2020, and his complaint was clubbed in FIR number 138/20.
This FIR was registered on the complaint of a man called Furkan Ansari, of another lane in the same locality, who had alleged damage to his car and house by rioters during his absence on the same day, the court noted.
The judge also noted that during the proceedings, the prosecution informed that the final report in the FIR was not yet filed and they were about to file an “untrace report” (regarding the offenders remaining untraceable).
“The complainant in a case is conferred with certain legal remedies, in case he is not satisfied with the investigation carried out by the investigating agency and clubbing all complaints of several incidents, in one FIR cannot be termed legal, unless all these complaints on the face of it show the time and place of such incidents to be the same and indicate towards the same perpetrators of the crime i.e, on the basis of continuity of action of the perpetrators,” the judge said.
ASJ Pramachala further said that “just because there was a flood of complaints, investigating agency could not make an exception to the mandate of law”.
The judge said, “I also find that the FIR no. 138/20 cannot be termed as a sufficient step taken on the complaint of the respondent (Mohd Vakil) herein. The place of incident in aforesaid FIR and the place of incident as disclosed in the complaint of the respondent herein were apparently different places.”
He said that even though both incidents were outcomes of riotous acts, still the investigation in both could not be the same.
The judge said that Ansari was not present at his house during the alleged incident, and according to him, the incident occurred at an unknown time and date, while Vakil had claimed to be an eyewitness of the incident, besides mentioning the concrete date and time of the alleged incident.
“The case laws referred by the state are not applicable to the situation involved herein. It is not a case of two versions of the same incident,” the judge said rejecting the arguments of the petitioner (Delhi Police).
According to Delhi Police, the magisterial court had failed to consider that Vakil’s complaint was clubbed in accordance with the law and that Vakil had no grievance against the police regarding the quality of the investigation.