A Delhi Court has convicted a father-Son duo of rioting, vandalism and setting a shop on fire in the Khajuri Khas area during Northeast Delhi riots in February 2020. The court said the convicted duo was part of an unlawful assembly of a mob that indulged in rioting.
A case was registered at Khajuri Khas police station on the basis of a complaint filed by Amir Hussain.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pulastya Pramachala of Karkardooma Court held Mithhan Singh and his son Jony Kumar guilty and convicted them under sections related to rioting, vandalism, and setting a property on fire including others.
"I find that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that both the accused persons, in this case, were members of unlawful assembly, which in defiance of a proclamation made under section 144 Cr.P.C., indulged in riot, vandalism and set ablaze shop of the complainant in Khajuri Khas, Delhi," the judge said in the judgement delivered on March 28.
"Hence, accused Mithhan Singh and Jony are held guilty and convicted for an offence punishable under Section 147/148/427/436 IPC read with Section 149 IPC; as well as for an offence punishable under Section 188 IPC," the judge ruled.
On March 4, 2020, an FIR was registered at Khajuri Khas police station on a written complaint by Aamir Hussain filed on March 2, 2020.
In his complaint, he alleged that on February 25, 2020, around 11 am, some rioters came onto the street and started vandalism and arson. They damaged his shop at Khajuri Khas and set it on fire along with all the articles kept therein, he alleged.
He claimed further to have suffered a loss of Rs.1.95 lakh in the vandalism and arson.
After investigation, the accused were charge-sheeted by the police for having committed offences punishable under sections 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 188 and 436 of the IPC.
These accused were identified by constables Pradeep and Kalik at the police station while they were being interrogated in another case.
On the point of unlawful assembly, the court found the testimonies of public witnesses trustworthy.
In respect of unlawful assembly and riot, the relevant evidence can be found in the testimonies of public witnesses who were residents of Gali of the complainant, the court said.
The court noted that all the residents and two police officers deposed about a mob assembling in this 'galli' lane and indulging in vandalism and arson in the houses and propertiessituated therein.
A public witness, in his deposition, said he heard a commotion around 10-11 am. Another witness deposed about a mob coming from the 'galli' side around 8-9 am. He also claimed that the mob raised "Jai Sri Ram" chants and set ablaze houses and shops in the lane, the court further noted.
The third witness also claimed the same slogan being raised by the mob around 11 am before they indulged in vandalism and arson. The fourth public witness said he was also at his home and saw the mob around 12 noon setting a mosque ablaze in the lane.
Another witness claimed to be present at the mosque when a mob of about 100 persons allegedly stormed the shrine and vandalised it.
The court said in order to prove that both the accused persons belonged to the mob that was behind the incident, the prosecution relied on depositions of residents in the lane as well as police officers.
However, none of the public witnesses or residents of this lane, including the complainant, supported the case of the prosecution to identify the accused persons as members of this riotous mob, the court observed.
All of them took the plea that they did not see the rioters and hence, could not identify the accused persons, it added.
The court considered the statement of the police witness, who identified the accused persons. (ANI)