Delhi police on Friday concluded its arguments on the application of accused persons seeking direction on the status of the investigation of the larger conspiracy of the Delhi riots of 2020 saying that the accused have no right to know the status of the investigation and the applications are not maintainable.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court listed the matter for hearing the contentions of the accused persons on October 3 at 12 noon.
The special public prosecutor (SPP) for Delhi police, Amit Prasad, submitted that he is not going beyond the point of maintainability of applications at this point. “There is no point in going beyond that when the applications are not maintainable at all,” he said.
He further said that the accused have no right to know the status of the investigation.
On the other hand, Advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, counsel for Asif Iqbal Tanha said when the police is not answering the question, the accused and the court have a right to ask the Prosecution.
Some of the accused including Meeran Haider, Natasha Narval, and Devangna Kalita have moved applications seeking the status of the investigation in this case before they begin arguments on charges.
During the last hearing on September 19, SPP Amit Prasad submitted that “The applications are attempt to derail the trial. There is no provision in law which asks for overall status of the investigation. These applications are presumptive as the accused persons assume that something will happen.”
SPP for Delhi police had also submitted that it’s right for investigation cannot be curtailed. Even the apex court ask for the timeline for completion of the investigation.
He also said that Delhi police have filed the main charge sheet and disclosed the evidence against the accused persons. They also have argued at length during arguments on bails.
“Whenever a supplementary charge sheet was filed, case diary was inspected by the court,” the SPP argued. The case diary is before the Court, he said.
“Investigation agency has a right to investigate and collect evidence”, he added.
The SPP also submitted that the applications not contained any provision of law.
“These applications can only be entertained if there is a provision of law. These applications can’t be entertained without a provision of law. There is no provision of law to ask the status of the overall status,” SPP Amit Prasad said.
The accused persons had a right to challenge the supplementary charge sheet but they did not avail the remedy. They did wait for 40 days and moved the applications when the arguments on charges were to begin, SPP added.
Accused Meeran Haider’s Counsel had moved an application seeking necessary directions to the investigating agency regarding its ongoing investigation prior to the commencement of arguments on charge or discharge.
Another application was moved on behalf of the accused Athar Khan. He has sought deferment of the arguments on charge in the present case till the completion of the investigation by the complainant agency.
Delhi’s Karkardooma Court is to begin hearing arguments on charges against Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Tahir Hussain, and other accused persons on a daily basis in the larger Conspiracy case.
A date was also fixed for hearing arguments on September 11. However, some of the accused moved applications on the point of completion of the investigation before commencing arguments on charge.
The first charge sheet was filed around three years back in September 2020.
This case pertains to the alleged larger conspiracy of the Delhi riots of 2020 lodged under the stringent anti-terrorist law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
In this, Delhi police had filed the first charge sheet on September 16, 2020. Since then five supplementary charge sheets have been filed. The matter was at the stage of scrutiny of documents supplied along with charge sheets.
The court listed the matter for arguments on charge after the completion of scrutiny of documents by all accused persons.
In this case, 20 persons including Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Tahir Hussain, Natasha Narwal, Devangna Kalita, Safoora Zargar, Ishrat Jahan, and others have been arrayed as accused. Two accused persons Suleman Siddiqui alias Salman and Amanullah have been declared proclaimed offenders in 2020.
All the accused persons were charge-sheeted under stringent law UAPA for the alleged larger Conspiracy of the Delhi riots.
Natasha Narwal, Devangna Kalita, Safoora Zargar, Ishrat Jahan, and Asif Iqbal Tanha are on bail in this case.
Other accused persons namely Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, and others are in judicial custody. (ANI)