New Delhi: A court here has acquitted a man accused in a 2020 Delhi riots case of all charges, including arson, vandalism and loot, saying the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a riotous mob was responsible for the incident and that the accused was its part.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case against Sandeep Kumar, who was accused of being a part of an unlawful assembly that looted a house and set ablaze household items and a two-wheeler in the Shiv Vihar locality in Karwal Nagar here on February 25, 2020.
“The prosecution though established the incident of vandalism, loot and setting ablaze of some household articles and a motorcycle, but it failed to prove a mob being responsible for the same and the presence of accused in such a mob, beyond reasonable doubts,” ASJ Pramachala said in a judgment dated October 27.
The court said while the complainant had not witnessed the incident, there was a “discrepancy” in the testimonies of two police eyewitnesses and so it was doubtful to believe that they were present in the lane to witness the rioting incident.
Therefore, the formation of an unlawful assembly in the lane and the mob being responsible for the incident was not proved beyond doubt, the court said.
Regarding the identification of Kumar as part of the riotous mob, the court said when the presence of the police officials was doubtful, then there could not be any question of relying upon their identification of the accused.
Also, while one of the police officials recorded his statement identifying Kumar on February 29, the other confirmed having seen the accused only on August 1, 2020, the court added.
ASJ Pramachala said both police personnel were from the same police station and wondered how in the “natural course of action” the duo did not share the information among themselves about having identified the same one person in the mob.
Citing this additional reason, he declared that their testimonies were not “reliable”.
(Published 29 October 2023, 16:03 IST)