Delhi riots FIRs declared sensitive to preserve communal harmony

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police while opposing a petition seeking to make the FIRs registered in connection with the north-east Delhi riots public said that “conscious decision” has been taken to declare the FIRs connected to the riots as sensitive in order to preserve communal harmony.

“A conscious decision has been taken to declare the ‘FIRs’ connected to riot as sensitive. This has been done primarily to preserve the communal harmony as putting these FIRs in public domain would disclose the names of complainants, witnesses and accused persons. However, this is in no way to prejudice the rights of the accused persons,” the force said in its affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court.

The affidavit came in response to the petition filed by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat through advocate Tara Narula seeking the court’s direction to the Delhi Police asking it to upload copies of FlRs registered pursuant to the violence in the north-east Delhi on its website.

The Delhi Police opposing another prayer in the plea seeking court direction for calling of status report disclosing the names and numbers of persons detained and arrested by Delhi Police to the pogrom for the duration of lockdown, said that petitioner has “no locus standi” in the present matter.

“The petitioner is neither an accused nor a complainant nor a witness in any of the 751 cases registered in connection with riots in North East District. Disclosing the names of the persons arrested/detained during the period of investigation would prejudice the right of the accused. The petitioner has no locus standi in the criminal matter,” the response read.

However, the Delhi Police submitted a list of persons detained or arrested by it since March 24 before the court in a sealed cover.

The plea also sought for directions to the police that the copies of FIRs, Remand Applications, orders of remand and ground of arrest and copies of Charge sheets be supplied through email/Whatsapp/Post to the families and counsels of accused persons

In response to this prayer, the Delhi Police responded that the procedure for providing of copy of FIR to an accused is being followed by Districts/Investigating Units of Delhi Police as per the directions of the Supreme Court of India and the same cannot be diluted through a PIL. “As far as providing of such other documents mentioned in the prayer under reply are concerned, it is submitted that these documents cannot be provided during the pendency of investigation of the case as it may hamper the investigation of the case,” the affidavit read.

“However, as and when a charge-sheet is filed before the concerned Court, the accused is provided a full set of charge sheet including all those documents mentioned in the prayer by the Court free of cost as per the provision prescribed under section 207 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),” it said.

Earlier in the day, former Jamia Coordination Committee member Safoora Zargar moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail i a case against her in north-east Delhi riots that broke out in February this year.

Meanwhile on Monday, the high court had designated four special courts for holding trials in cases relating to the violence and clashes that broke out in northeast Delhi in February this year.

The high court has created two magistrate courts and two sessions courts for holding trials in connection with the Delhi riots.

Communal violence had broken out in the parts of Delhi in February after clashes between citizenship law supporters and opponents spiralled out of control, leaving 53 dead