When a complainant in a northeast Delhi riots case was made an accused in an attempt-to-murder case that targeted him, a Delhi court called the investigation incongruous and stated that “by this logic, every injured person in a riots case can be made an accused”.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat, in an order passed on August 18, discharged six men booked for attempted murder in the case after pursuing the supplementary chargesheet. The judge said it seems that the entire focus of the investigation has been to show the involvement of the six accused with the riotous mob which led to a gunshot injury to the complainant, Sajid.
“However, curiously, Sajid during investigation was made an accused. One of the primary reasons was that since he had suffered a gunshot injury during the riots, he can be held to be part of the riotous mob. By this logic, every injured person in a riots case can be made an accused,” the court said.
The court said that the “investigation begs the question as to how the prosecution, on the one hand, has charged six accused persons under Section 307 IPC… for the attempted murder of injured Sajid who has also been made as an accused in this case for the offence of rioting.”
Sajid alleged that on February 25, 2020, while trying to escape a riotous crowd, he was hit by a gunshot. During the investigation, Sajid was examined and since he had suffered an injury in riots, it was deduced that he was part of the riotous mob.
In March 2020, a constable gave a statement identifying all six accused as being part of the riotous mob. While five of them were arrested on the principle of unlawful assembly, another accused was later held after being identified by the constable.
The court said that for the purpose of proving the gunshot injury to the complainant, section 307 cannot be proved but “how will Sajid appear as a witness in a case in which he himself is an accused.”
“These aspects of investigation are incongruous in as much as if Sajid is stated to be an accused in this matter, he can’t be made a witness as then he would be as a witness who will give the testimony on behalf of the prosecution and also the accused who does cross-examination of himself,” the court said.
The court said that section 307 IPC cannot be made out in the way in which the prosecution seeks, and only sections related to rioting can be attracted.