After calling it 'mischievous', HC says note caused no prejudice

new delhi: After remarking that the Delhi Police note citing "resentment among Hindu community" over the arrest of "some Hindu youth" in the north-east Delhi riots cases was "mischievous", the Delhi High Court on Friday said the note issued by Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan to probe officers caused no prejudice to people of any community.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said the accused have already been chargesheeted in the riots cases and the July 8 order issued by the senior police officer will cause no prejudice. He also asked the investigating officers to deal with the cases as per law and not to be influenced by the superior's instructions issued in the order in question.

The court's order came while disposing of a petition by the families of two victims who were killed during the February violence here, alleging that the senior officer's order to the chiefs of teams probing the riots was sending a wrong message.

It perused several similar letters issued by other police officers and also the input received after which the Special CP had issued the order to probe teams and said it was not the first time that such an order was issued.

Moreover, the court said, "I have noticed while going through the petition, that the electronic and print media have made some news which are against the letter and spirit of the order."

Reports said the note cited inputs of "resentment among the Hindu community" after the arrest of some "Hindu youth" in connection with the riots cases and asked officers to take due care while making such arrests.

Advocate Amit Mahajan, representing the police, contended that a general caution should be issued to the media as the report had sensationalised the issue unnecessarily. Mahajan said a total of 535 Hindus and 513 Muslims have been chargesheeted to date in north-east Delhi riots related cases.

To this, Justice Kait said, "Therefore, I suggest to the media, being the fourth pillar of democracy, that news should be done after verifying facts so that no hate comes in between either of the communities in this country." The court further suggested to Delhi Police and the investigating authorities not to part with any instruction issued by superior officers which are not as per the law. It said the observation made by the court will not cause prejudice to Ranjan or any other officer in their service careers.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, representing the petitioners, claimed that the order amounted to unlawful and illegal interference in the performance of investigative functions by police officers. He said that under the CrPC or any other law, there is no provision that an officer has to discuss the investigation with the Special CP.

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