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Delhi Riots: Delhi court imposes cost on prosecution for wasting time of Court and witness

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A court that was dealing with the riots in Delhi has imposed fine on the prosecution for not showing any respect towards the time of a witness and the court, or the money of the public exchequer.

Additional Sessions Judge of Karkardooma court Pulastya Pramachala said the prosecution did not take any steps to drop “unnecessary witnesses” in the trial, despite getting repeated directions for the same.

The judge was compelled to impose a fine of ₹5,000 to the prosecution. The court said the fine shall be paid in the court on the next date and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Northeast, shall make enquiry to fix accountability,to recover such cost amount from the responsible person.

The court further asked the DCP to sensitise all special public prosecutors (SPPs) and investigating officers (IOs) of all the riot cases and see if they can find any “irrelevant witness” and drop them, instead of obtaining summons for such witnesses.

While going through the case, the court noted that a witness had to be dropped without examination as his statement before the police under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was recorded at around 6 pm on February 25, 2020, whereas the incident in question had reportedly taken place between 12 midnight and 1 am on the intervening night of February 24 and 25, 2020.

The court noted that such a witness was ‘not relevant at all’ for the present case and, as a result, he was discharged.

The court was upset on the fact that no steps were taken, even after being repeatedly told to drop unnecessary witnesses.

The Court said that unfortunately, despite giving directions to the prosecution in a number of cases for dropping irrelevant and unnecessary witnesses, no such step has been taken in this case by the representative of prosecution i.e. special PPs as well as IO. Such directions were also communicated to the DCP, northeast, but still the same did not have any positive effect in this case.

“Since the witness had already come to the court, therefore, he was paid diet money,” added the Bench.

The examination of witness will continue on November 30.

SPP DK Bhatia appeared for the State, while Advocates Salim Malik, Shavana, Babar Chauhan and Abdul Gaffar represented the accused in the case.

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