A Delhi court has said that the standard of the probe in a large number of 2020 northeast riots cases is “very poor” and it needs the intervention of the Delhi Police Commissioner.
Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav, in an August 28 order, said the police officers concerned (the investigating officers, or IOs) do not appear before the court, either physically or through video-conferencing while charges are being framed.
The judge in a 13-page order said, “In a large number of cases of riots, the standard of investigation is very poor. After filing of charge sheet in the court, neither the IO nor the SHO (station house officer) nor the supervising officers bother to see what other material is required to be collected from the appropriate authority in the matters and what steps are required to be taken to take the investigation to a logical end. They don’t even bother to care for the queries of SPPs (special public prosecutors), if any, regarding the charge sheet and the further investigation which is supposed to have been conducted in the matters”.
The court also added saying, “It is noticed that after filing the half-baked charge sheets in court, the police hardly bother about taking the investigation to a logical end. The accused persons, who have been roped in multiple cases, continue to languish in jails as a consequence thereof. It is high time that the DCP of the northeast district and other higher officers concerned take notice of the aforesaid observations and take immediate remedial action required in the matters. They are free to seek the assistance of experts in this regard, failing which there is the likelihood of injustice being caused to the persons involved in these cases”.
The deputy commissioner of police (north-east) Sanjay Kumar Sain after receiving the court’s order said, “The observations made by the court in the case and other shortcomings related to the investigation of other cases will be addressed. As far as the investigation into the present case is concerned, the court had framed charges based on evidence collected by our investigating team. We will take note of the other issues raised by the court”.
The Delhi Police has also been fined Rs 25,000 by a court in Delhi for “miserably failing” in their duty to investigate cases related to the February 2020 riots in northeast Delhi. But Delhi Police did not step back and they argued that due to the communal frenzy, there was a curfew-like atmosphere at or around the area and the people were so shocked and traumatized that it took several days for them to gather the courage to come out and report the matter to the police when the situation became normal.
They also gave proper proof of their work and contended to the court that an additional force of the Seema Sahastra Bal was summoned from Bihar to Delhi “at or around February 23, 2020” at very short notice and it was very difficult for the SSB officer and his colleagues to get acquainted with the area and as such, they could not specifically name or identify the accused persons, but the Delhi-Police did their best to settle the cases.