‘Truth will eventually come out’: Court rejects prosecution plea to adjourn riot case against Tahir Hussain

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissed the prosecution’s application citing the intention to file a supplementary chargesheet and observed that the defence counsel had stated that “their clients were in jail for over a year and suffering”.

Rejecting the prosecution’s plea seeking an adjournment on arguments on charges against former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, accused in a Northeast Delhi riots case, a Delhi court said: “the truth will eventually come out”.

Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissed the prosecution’s application citing the intention to file a supplementary chargesheet and observed that the defence counsel had stated that “their clients were in jail for over a year and suffering”.

The case was registered on a complaint filed by Ajay Kumar Jha, who claimed that he sustained injuries after a mob, which was pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs from the terrace of Hussain’s house, fired at him on February 25, 2020. The supplementary chargesheet is yet to be filed.

“This can not be a ground to seek adjournment as the prosecution can always seek amendment of charge after the supplementary chargesheet comes to this court after committal,” ASJ Yadav said.

Seeking a 30-day adjournment, Special Public Prosecutor D K Bhatia told the court that they will be filing a supplementary chargesheet which will have two new IPC sections — 153A (promoting enmity) and 505 (statements conducting public mischief).

However, ASJ Yadav asked the prosecutor to begin arguments based on material already in the chargesheet. The SPP expressed his “strong inability to address arguments and persisted for an adjournment”. The court rejected this application and allowed Tahir’s lawyer, Rizwan, to commence with his arguments.

ASJ Yadav said, “Give me an undertaking saying you will address arguments. Police should not go on asking for dates. People are in jail. Why are you addressing arguments in a circle ?”

Rizwan told the court, “The police are breaking all the records while seeking adjournments. They have done this in multiple cases. We are ready to address arguments.”

The prosecutor insisted that they needed 30 days to address arguments which, as per the criminal procedure, only the prosecution can begin.

As Rizwan began reading the contents of the chargesheet, ASJ Yadav interrupted him and read out the FIR details by memory and asked him to address his arguments.

Rizwan made his first point that this case will not attract IPC section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) as “there is not a single allegation or a statement disclosing the commission of this section”.

ASJ Yadav said he agreed with this submission.

Rizwan told the court that there is no video footage of Tahir on February 25, the witnesses in this case were parties with interests who have similar statements, and the licenced pistol was never used by Tahir.

The court asked Rizwan about the missing cartridges in his pistol and why Tahir got his pistol from the police station days before the riot.

Rizwan said, “I had surrendered my pistol during the Delhi elections. After the elections, I retrieved it from the police station as per the law. In fact, there are phone calls from the local SHO asking me when I will take my pistol. The riots took place 12 days after the results were announced.”

The court then questioned the police officers on the different police jurisdictions arising in this case and sought their reply.

Rizwan told the court that the “investigation was carried out mechanically” and there was “no sense in the chargesheet”.

ASJ Yadav said, “The truth will come out, it sets its course.”

Rizwan told the court that when the riots broke out, there was heavy deployment in the area and all the shops were shut, yet the witnesses in this case stated that they were all out buying milk. “The witness is injured and he gives his statement within two hours and identifies the shooter and that he was under instructions by Tahir.”

Rizwan said that “all the witnesses in this case are omnipresent”. The court remarked that it has seen this in several cases and mentioned an instance where the same constable is a witness in at least a dozen cases.

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