NEW DELHI — A Delhi court has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned to take immediate remedial action regarding an unverified, incriminating video against an accused in connection with the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat was hearing the case fixed for orders on the point of charge against four defendants — Rahul Kumar, Suraj, Yogender Singh, and Naresh –, who have been accused of participating in a riotous mob that committed arson in a place of worship and some of its ground-floor shops on fire on February 25, 2020.
The judge noted that while Suraj and Yogender were the subjects of CCTV film, Kumar had been recognised by a public witness. Additionally, there was a video against Naresh, who is accused of committing arson and raising a flag over a house of worship.
“However, when the video was sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), the report was received stating that the DVD was found inaccessible in the video analyst’s system and hence, no examination was carried out. The FSL report was filed by way of a supplementary chargesheet,” the judge said.
No other witness was found to identify accused Naresh, according to the judge, and it was “inexplicable” how the incriminating footage was discovered to be inaccessible after being given to the CFSL.
“If it was so, the investigating officer (IO) or the station house officer (SHO) or the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) should have again sent the correct and accessible video to the FSL for their opinion and filed the same but instead, the IO has filed the supplementary chargesheet, along with the FSL report of the inaccessible video,” the judge said.
He stated it is “difficult” for the court to frame charges against Naresh based on a “unverified DVD” because the court must do it based on the evidence that is presented.
“But yet at the same time, if the video exists and it is verified by the FSL, it can inculpate the accused and thus, discharging him at this stage without the FSL report will hurt the conscience of this court, particularly, given the nature of the case of burning of a religious place. Moreover, the origin of the video is not disclosed,” the judge said.
“In these circumstances, this court is of the opinion that the DCP concerned should take immediate remedial action,” he added.
The court then listed the matter for June 7 for next hearing. — IANS