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Delhi Police says FIR on riot victim’s complaint will burden judicial system, challenges lower court orders

In the order passed on July 13, ASJ Yadav upheld the MM’s order and said a defence of the accused persons has been sought to be created by police in a different FIR, and that police officers have “miserably failed” in their statutory duties.

Challenging a court order directing it to register an FIR on a Ghonda resident’s complaint, which alleged he was shot in the left eye during the Northeast Delhi riots, police in a petition before the High Court Monday said registration of an FIR would further “increase the burden” on a judicial system which was “already overburdened”.

Police through the petition challenged two orders passed by the lower courts — a metropolitan magistrate (MM) order dated October 21, 2020, directing it to register an FIR on Mohammad Nasir’s complaint, and the order passed by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissing the investigating agency’s appeal against the MM’s order.

In the order passed on July 13, ASJ Yadav upheld the MM’s order and said a defence of the accused persons has been sought to be created by police in a different FIR, and that police officers have “miserably failed” in their statutory duties in the case. The court had imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on Bhajanpura police station’s SHO and his supervising officers and said the facts and circumstances of the case reveal “a very shocking state of affairs”.

The police petition, filed through Bhajanpura police station, is tentatively listed for hearing on July 28. Naresh Tyagi, one of the persons named by Nasir in his complaint, has also filed a similar petition before the High Court challenging the orders passed by MM and ASJ.

On July 19, Justice Subramonium Prasad had stayed the order passed by the MM directing police to register an FIR.

One of the main grounds cited by police in its petition against the sessions court order is that the MM order has been stayed by the High Court.

On March 19 last year, Nasir in his complaint said he was fired at near his residence on February 24 and suffered a gunshot injury in his left eye. He named several people and alleged he was shot “since he belonged to a different community”, as per the complaint.

Since no FIR was registered, he had moved the lower court. Police, in response to his application, had submitted that an FIR was already registered regarding the incident of rioting in which it was mentioned that Nasir and six more persons had suffered gunshot injuries on the said date.

However, it had also told the court that no evidence was found against the persons named by Nasir. Police said two of them were not even in Delhi at the relevant time and a third was in his office.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, Nasir’s counsel, argued before the lower court that the FIR registered by Delhi Police does not address his grievance and a separate FIR needs to be registered in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

Arguing before the High Court, police said the ASJ imposed a cost on the office of DCP North East without giving him an opportunity to make his submissions and that the same is against the principle of natural justice. It has also argued that Nasir’s statement has already been recorded during investigation.

“On some aspect, supplementary investigation is in progress and there is no occasion for a separate FIR as the offence is relating to the same offence,” it said.

Police also said one of the accused was arrested initially but it was later “revealed” that he was in Uttar Pradesh on February 24 last year and returned late “on 24/25.02.2020”.

His presence in Baghpat was “determined” by a video captured during an engagement ceremony attended by him, eyewitnesses, and by examining his call detail records, police said.

It has also argued that the lower court made “very serious remarks against the investigation” even before commencement of the trial, which “is contrary to the basic law that no finding should be given in the midst of trial”.

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