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[Delhi riots] Disclosing names of persons arrested/detained during investigation would prejudice the right of accused: Delhi Police tells HC

Aditi Singh

The Delhi Police has stated before the Delhi High Court that disclosing the names of the persons who were arrested/detained during the period of investigation into North-East Delhi riots would prejudice the right of the accused in the matter. (Brinda Karat vs GNCT of Delhi & Ors)

The averment was made by the Delhi Police in its status report submitted in a petition filed by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat.

Karat had sought a direction to the Delhi Police to submit a status report on the number of persons detained and arrested by Delhi Police for the duration of the lockdown i.e. since March 24.

The Police has responded to the prayer by stating that Karat is neither an accused nor a witness or complainant in any of the 751 cases registered for the riots and thus, has no locus standi in the matter.

Delhi Police has nonetheless given the list of persons detained or arrested since March 24 to the High Court, in a sealed cover.

The Delhi Police has also stated that a "conscious decision" has been taken to declare the FIRs connected to the riots as "sensitive".

In response to Karat's plea to upload the North East Delhi riots FIRs online, Delhi Police said that putting the names of the complainants, witnesses and accused persons in the public domain may disturb communal harmony.

This is in no way to prejudice the rights of the accused persons, the Court said.

With regards the prayer for the supply of copies of FIRs, remand application, orders of remand, ground of arrest to accused etc, the Delhi Police relied on Supreme Court's decision in Youth Bar Association vs UOI and stated that a copy of the FIR may be procured by an accused/his representative by making an application for grant of a certified copy before the Magistrate concerned.

Other documents sought by Karat cannot be provided during the pendency of the investigation and shall be given to the accused at the time of the filing of the chargesheet, the Police said.

The status report was filed through Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Rajat Nair.

Meanwhile four courts in Karkardooma Court Complex have been designated as Courts for trial of all the riots cases.

These courts are the courts of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Karkardooma; Mahila Court-04, Shahadra, Karkardooma; Additional Sessions Judge-03, North East, Karkardooma and Additional Sessions Judge-03, Shahadra, Karkardooma.

As of now, seven chargesheets have been filed by the Delhi Police in connection with cases pertaining to the Delhi riots.

Read the Notice:

Riots Courts order (1).pdf
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Riots Courts order (2).pdf
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