In a significant development related to the 2020 Northeast Delhi riots, a Delhi court framed charges of "attempt to murder" and "rioting" against former Congress councilor Ishrat Jahan, activist Khalid Saifi, and eleven others. The accused, however, were discharged from the charges of "criminal conspiracy" and "use of illegal firearms."
Judge Amitabh Rawat stated that the criminal conspiracy charge was "completely bereft of any reasoning." Nevertheless, the court found that the accused were prima facie part of a "riotous armed mob" that had assembled, refused to disperse, and had thrown stones, assaulting police officers.
The accused face charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, armed rioting, obstructing public servants, disobedience to orders, voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servants, assault to deter public servants, and attempting to murder.
While discharging the accused for offenses under other provisions and the Arms Act, the court noted that only a juvenile was allegedly in possession of the firearm used during the protest. However, it emphasized that Head Constable Yograj and another police witness had identified all accused as part of an unlawful assembly.
The court expressed reservations about the charge of criminal conspiracy, calling it a "figment of imagination" by the Investigating Officer, suggesting it might have been borrowed from another case.
The accused will face trial at the Karkardooma Court. The order was reserved by Judge Amitabh Rawat before his transfer to Rouse Avenue District Courts.
Author: Anushka Taraniya
News writer, MIT ADT University