Court orders framing of charges against five for rioting and arson

New Delhi: A court here has ordered framing charges of rioting and arson against five people for allegedly setting ablaze a mosque during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, saying their identification through a video cannot be termed illegal or inadmissible in evidence at this stage.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala was hearing a case against Ankit, Sourabh Sharma, Rohit, Rahul Kumar and Sachin, who were accused of being part of a riotous mob that torched Allah Wali Masjid at Shahid Bhagat Singh Colony here in February 2020.

“Identification of the accused through video cannot be termed as illegal or inadmissible in evidence. The same would require to be appreciated on the basis of the overall situation behind such identification and this exercise can be done only after the trial,” the judge said.

ASJ Pramachala also rejected the ground of discharge sought in the absence of a test identification parade, saying TIP is a matter of prudence and an additional safeguard for the prosecution’s case and its absence cannot be used by the accused for seeking discharge.

“I find that accused persons...(are) liable to be tried for offences punishable under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 427 (punishment for committing mischief and thereby causing loss or damage to the amount of Rs fifty or upwards), 435 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to an amount of 100 rupees or upwards), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.) and 450 (house-trespass in order to the committing of any offence punishable with imprisonment for life) of the Indian Penal Code,” the court said in its order passed on March 31. The judge also put on trial all accused persons for the offences of being a part of an unlawful assembly and disobedience to an order promulgated by a public servant.

“The common object of this mob is well apparent from the evidence i.e, to destroy the mosque,” the judge said.

Noting that the statement of a witness that Rohit was instigating others to set ablaze the mosque and other houses, the judge additionally put him on trial for the offence of abetment.

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