Delhi court calls out police for being ‘callous’, ‘lackadaisical’ for not disclosing FIR in Delhi riots case

A Delhi court Tuesday reproached the Delhi police for its “callous” and ” lackadaisical” attitude for not disclosing before a trial court that it had registered a separate FIR in the arson which took place at Madina Masjid during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots.

The observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge(ASJ) Vinod Yadav at Karkardooma court while passing an order in a revision petition filed by the Delhi police against the order of a trial court directing the registration of a separate FIR in a complaint filed by Haji Hashim Ali against 14 people who allegedly desecrated the Madina Masjid.

When the ASJ reserved the case for orders, the Delhi police at the eleventh hour, moved an application seeking withdrawal of the revision petition contending that it wanted to approach the trial court again in view of the fact that the FIR No.55/2020 in the Madina Masjid case already existed, the fact the Delhi police did not disclose when the trial court passed the order to register a separate FIR.

Disapproving the “lackadaisical” attitude of the police, ASJ Yadav said had the fact been brought to the notice of a trial court during consideration of the petition by Haji Hashim Ali seeking a separate FIR, the outcome of the order under challenge could have been different.

Advocate MR Shamshad, for Ali, opposed the Delhi police’s application on the ground that the same was actuated with malafides and had been filed to cover-up the faulty investigation conducted in the matter.

ASJ Yadav observed that the investigation in the FIR into the Madina majid case was still going on and thus the interest of justice would be served if the case was remanded back to the trial court with the direction to consider the entire material, i.e petition of the respondent filed under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C afresh after taking into consideration the factum of registration of case FIR No.55/2020, PS Karawal Nagar.

Complainant Haji Hashim Ali was arrested in connection with the riots on March 3, 2020, and was enlarged on bail by the court on May 15, 2020. He too had suffered the brunt of communal riots. After coming out of jail, Ali sought the registration of an FIR in the damage to Masjid Madina by the riotous mob. He moved an application before the court seeking a registration of the FIR which the court allowed.

According to him, a riotous mob consisting of about 20-25 people, armed with lathis, sticks, rods, acid and petrol bombs (Molotov cocktail) broke into the Masjid and destroyed everything they could lay their hands on. The riotous mob also set on fire two LPG cylinders lying inside the mosque, which resulted in an explosion and a huge fire, causing substantial damage to mosque.

On February 26, 2020,  one person from the riotous mob climbed on the top of Madina Masjid and hoisted the saffron flag while chanting religious slogans, leading to a charged environment.