NEW DELHI : A Delhi court on Monday said that it will decide on September 14, whether to begin day-to-day hearings on the issue of framing charges against the accused persons in the case alleging a larger conspiracy behind the 2020 North-East Delhi riots.
On August 5, the court had said that it will start hearing on a day-to-day basis from Monday (September 11).
However, on Monday, Advocate Adit Pujari appearing for one of the accused persons – Devangana Kalita – took objection to proceeding on charge saying that the prosecution is beating around the bush and is still not saying that the investigation is complete in the case.
Chipping in before Special Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court, Advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran for Asif Iqbal Tanha said that before proceeding the trial the prosecution must assure that their investigation is complete and no further supplementary chargesheet will be filed in the case.
However, the contentions were opposed by Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad, who claimed that this is just a tactic being played by the accused, who are on bail to the benefit of accused who are in custody as they claim delay in trial before higher courts.
He further said that it should be taken on record because tomorrow it should not reflect that we didn’t start the arguments, and contended that they could have opposed the day-to-day hearing before hand and could have filed a proper application.
The court then ordered: “Put a detailed submission, with advance copy to the Prosecution.”
The proceedings in the case commenced in September 2020 with the filing of the first chargesheet, and over the span of more than two years, the Delhi police has filed a total of four chargesheets in the case.
The chargesheets were submitted on September 16, 2020, followed by supplementary chargesheets on November 22, 2020, February 24, 2021, and March 02, 2022.
The court’s decision of August 5 came after the stage of compliance under Section 207 Cr.P.C in respect of all the chargesheeted accused persons, which completed on Saturday, more than two years after the proceedings in the case began in September 2020 with the filing of the first chargesheet.
“…list the matter for arguments on the point of charge on 11.09.2023 onwards for day to day hearing. Ld. Special Public Prosecutor shall begin the arguments on 11.09.2023,” the court had said.
On April 5, compliance proceedings under section 207 of CrPC were concluded for 17 accused individuals, excluding Devangana Kalita. Saturday’s order marks the conclusion of the same for all accused, bringing the case a step closer to its legal proceedings.
The accused persons in this case include Tahir Hussain, Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, Isharat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Shifa-Ur-Rehman, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd. Saleem Khan, Athar Khan, Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, Faizan Khan, and Natasha Narwal.
In addition to the order for day-to-day hearings, Rawat had also ordered all accused individuals to appear in person on the upcoming hearing dates.
The Investigating Officer (I.O) was also asked to be present on the next hearing date.
“Copy of this order be sent to the concerned Jail Superintendent for information and compliance,” the court said. — IANS