Court acquits 10 accused of arson, house trespass

Court says charges were not proved beyond reasonable doubt

Court acquits 10 accused of arson, house trespass

: A local court on Wednesday acquitted 10 men of all alleged offences -- including arson, house trespass and mischief by fire -- during the 2020 communal riots in northeast Delhi, saying the charges were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case against the 10 men accused of being a part of a riotous mob that torched a shop in the Bhagirathi Vihar area on February 25, 2020, during the riots.

The court said three key witnesses -- the complainant, his son and his nephew -- did not support the prosecution’s case on the point of identification of the accused.

There was a “mixing up” of the identification of the accused by three police witnesses, it said. “Such mixing up may be on account of genuine confusion or on account of a predetermined line of giving statement,” the court said.

Additionally, an assistant sub-inspector had taken a “fluctuating stand” regarding identifying some of the accused, it said.

“This fluctuating stand does have its adverse effect on his claim of having seen any of the accused persons in the mob during the alleged incident in this case,” the judge said.

“Thus, on the basis of the above-mentioned flip flop in the identification of the same accused persons at different times I find the accused persons to be entitled to the benefit of doubt,” he added.

Acquitting the 10 men of all the charges, the court said, “The charges levelled in this case are not proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

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