2020 riots case: Accused seek status of Delhi Police’s investigation before arguments on charge

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2020 riots case: Accused seek status of Delhi Police’s investigation before arguments on charge
New Delhi: Some accused in the case alleging a larger conspiracy behind the 2020 riots, including Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, and Asif Iqbal Tanha, have sought clarification from the Delhi Police regarding the status of their investigation.

They have filed applications seeking a direction from the court to direct the police to clarify when the investigation will be completed before arguments begin on whether to frame charges.

Tanha specifically requested a timeline for when the investigation is likely to be completed. Other co-accused, including Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam, and Meeran Haider, are also considering similar requests.

The case is next listed for September 18.

On August 5, the court had said that it will start hearing on a day-to-day basis from September 11.

However, on September 11, advocate Adit Pujari, appearing for Kalita, took objection to proceeding on charges saying that the prosecution is beating around the bush and is still not saying that the investigation is complete in the case.

Appearing before Special Judge Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma court, advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, representing Tanha, had said that before proceeding the trial, the prosecution must assure that their investigation is complete and no further supplementary charge sheet 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, for 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 they 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 charge sheet, and since then, the Delhi Police has filed a total of four charge sheets in the case. The charge sheets were submitted on September 16, 2020, followed by supplementary charge sheets on November 22, 2020, February 24, 2021, and March 2, 2022.

The accused in this case include Tahir Hussain, Umar Khalid, Khalid Saifi, Isharat Jahan, Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Shifa-ur-Rehman, Tanha, Shadab Ahmed, Tasleem Ahmed, Saleem Malik, Mohd. Saleem Khan, Athar Khan, Zargar, Imam, Faizan Khan, and Narwal.

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