New Delhi: A court here has convicted a father-son duo for rioting and arson in a case of the 2020 North East Delhi riots, saying the prosecution proved the charges against them beyond reasonable doubt.
The case against Mithhan Singh and his son Jony Kumar was being heard by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pulastya Pramachala.
The duo was accused of being part of a riotous mob that set many properties on fire in lane number 4 in Khajuri Khas on February 25, 2020.
“I find that it is proved beyond doubt against both the accused that they were part of the mob which burnt the property (of complainant Shabana Khatoon). Thus, they are held guilty of the offences under sections 147 (rioting) 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon) 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc) read with section 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code and convicted accordingly,” the judge said.
The court posted the matter for filing affidavits on April 19, following which the proceedings on sentencing will commence.
An unlawful assembly was established with the shared goal of harming the properties of a specific community, according to ASJ Pramachala, who took note of the statements of various public witnesses. The riotous mob also committed acts of vandalism and arson, according to the judge.
Regarding the claim that the two were members of the mob, the judge stated that none of the complainants, locals, or other witnesses backed the prosecution’s evidence and refused to label the accused as mob members.
The judge stated that prosecution witnesses Mohd. Tahir and Constable Rohtash were the only witnesses to identify the duo as mob members.
He said Tahir’s testimony was “reliable” to show both accused were out in the lane and that they had joined the riotous mob raising slogans, while Constable Rohtash was the beat officer of the area and saw the duo as part of the mob that torched Khatoon’s property.
Because there was no entry in the daily diary or formal report on the occurrence, the judge ruled that the police official’s testimony could not be discarded.
Based on the evidence of the two witnesses, there was “no doubt that both accused persons were part of the mob” that indulged in the incident of arson at Khatoon’s property, the judge said.