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Delhi Riots: Delhi HC scans Delhi Police circular, but refuses to quash it

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said that a July 8 circular issued by the Delhi Police crime branch chief, related to the investigation into the Delhi riots which took place in February, did not cause prejudice to any community. The court also refused to quash the circular.

“Following this, the investigating officer of the case, shall deal in accordance with law, and shall not bother with instructions issued in order dated July 8,” said the court.

On the previous hearing, the court had questioned Special Commissioner (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan for issuing an order to its teams probing the northeast Delhi riots, asking them to exercise due care and precaution while making arrests.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Sahil Parvez and Mohd. Saeed Salmani, two who lost their parents during the riots. Sahil’s father Parvez died of a gunshot wound, while Saeed’s mother was lynched by rioters who also set the home of the family on fire.

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The petition has been filed alleging that a disciplinary inquiry must be initiated against Praveer Ranjan (Special Commissioner (Intelligence)) for issuing an order observing that there was a degree of resentment in the Hindu community against the arrest of certain Hindu persons, and directing investigating officers that they should be careful in the future when making arrests and that arrests of persons should be made only after discussion of the evidence with special public prosecutors who have been legally appointed to represent the police in these cases. 

The plea seeking the court’s intervention to quash the order was filed by the victims, through advocate Mahmood Pracha.

During the hearing on August 7, Delhi High Court Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said: “Since in my opinion the accused has already been chargesheeted before July 8, no prejudices caused to the petitioners. I noticed while going through the present petition that the electronic and print media has made some news which is against the letter and spirit of the order issued by Respondent No 4. (Police Commissioner)… I suggest to the media, the fourth pillar of democracy, that news should be reported after verifying facts so that there is no hate between communities in this country.”

The police also produced similar communications (orders and circulars) given to investigating officers in the past about such intelligence inputs.

On the previous hearing, Justice Suresh Kait had asked Special Commissioner as to what was the need to issue such a letter on July 8 to his subordinate officials and queried if the Police issues such orders in other cases also.

Praveer had submitted before the court that whenever any complaint, intelligent input comes to his notice such kind of communication is issued by the senior officers to the juniors to sensitize them. He also submitted that all the cases of the riots were already registered and this does not target a particular community. He said all the cases of the riots had been registered before the July 8 letter, so no prejudice is caused to the members of any community.

As per a news report, on the basis of which the petition was filed, the Special CP passed an order on July 8 stating that the arrest of “some Hindu youth” from riot-hit area in northeast Delhi had led to a “degree of resentment among the Hindu community” and “due care and precaution” must be taken while making arrests.

Read Also: Delhi riots: Delhi HC allows trial court’s 60-day extension for police probe

Following that the Delhi High Court had directed the Special Commissioner of Police to submit five orders or letters before the Court in a sealed cover within 2 days, which he or his predecessors had issued on receiving a complaint or representation in Delhi Riots Cases.

Read the order here;

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-India Legal Bureau

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