Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav made the decision while hearing a “peculiar” case in which three of the five accused belonged to the Hindu religion and the remaining two to Islam.
Taking cues from the 2002 Godhra riots cases, a Delhi Court has ordered separation of trial of accused, arrested in connection with the north-east Delhi riots, based on their religion.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who has been dealing with majority of the 2020 riots cases, made the decision while hearing a “peculiar” case in which three of the five accused belonged to the Hindu religion and the remaining two to Islam.
“Now, a peculiar situation has arisen that whether the trial can be permitted to proceed with assortment of accused persons from different religions purportedly acting under two different conspiracies and unlawful assemblies,” pondered the judge.
He concluded that, “this is definitely going to interse prejudice the defence of accused persons from different religions”.
With all five accused pleading “not guilty” and claiming trial, the judge harked back to a similar situation that had arisen before a Gujarat Court conducting the trial of Godhra communal riots.
The Godhra riots matter was referred to the Gujarat High Court where it authorised separation of trial of the accused persons from two different communities.
“Bearing in mind the aforesaid judicial precedent, this court also deems it appropriate to separate the trial of the accused persons so that their defence may not even likely to get prejudiced,” the judge said.
The court directed the DCP (Crime Branch) Dr. Joy N. Tirkey to furnish a complete set of charge sheet in physical form to the court within two weeks.
It also directed the court staff to put up a separate case number in this FIR and the existing charge sheet shall be treated as charge sheet for three accused persons namely, Kuldeep, Deepak Thakur and Deepak Yadav. The other charge sheet shall be treated as charge sheet for accused persons Mohd. Furkan and Mohd. Irshad.
The case FIR was registered on February 29, 2020 at Police Station Karawal Nagar regarding the death of a young person namely Salman (24) at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on February 27.
The deceased was admitted in GTB Hospital on February 24 with the alleged history of physical assault/injuries sustained by him on the same day at about 5.00 p.m. at Shiv Vihar during communal riots.
During the course of investigation, it came to fore that deceased Salman had sustained a gunshot injury and the projectile of firearm was recovered from his head during post-mortem which was seized in the matter.
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