A Delhi court has discharged six people from offences under IPC sections 395 (dacoity) and 436 (mischief by fire with intent to destroy houses) in connection with the 2020 north east Delhi riots, while remanding the matter to the metropolitan magistrate court for trying them under other offences.
According to the prosecution, the accused had committed offences under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon) 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 395, 454 (lurking house-trespass), 427 (committing mischief), 435 (mischief by explosive substance with intent to cause damage), 436, 380 (theft in dwelling house) and 34 (common intention).
In the last supplementary charge sheet, the prosecution said in respect of the offence under IPC section 436, there is no technical evidence or evidence in the nature of photographs and videos. Apparently, the complainant was not present at his shop when this alleged incident of taking away his property without his consent took place. There is no allegation of extortion at all and at the most, it can be said to be a case of theft, Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala said. The judge further said, “though, in the supplementary statement, he (the complainant) came up with a modified version to show his presence somewhere outside his shop, but even in this statement, he did not make any such complaint or allegation, which could satisfy the criteria laid down under section 390 IPC (robbery), in order to make this theft, a robbery. In these circumstances, I find that accused persons cannot be charged with offence under 395 IPC section because the requisite ingredients of dacoity are not satisfied from the allegations and statement made by the complainant or other witnesses herein.”
Pramachala also noted that from the complaint as well as photographs related to his shop, it was clear that his shop was not set on fire, rather the articles belonging to him were set on fire in front of his shop. This alleged act would invite Section 435 of IPC rather than Section 436 IPC, the judge said. Accused persons are hereby, discharged for offences punishable under 395 IPC as well as 436 IPC in this case. Since the other alleged offences are triable by metropolitan magistrate, therefore, case is remanded back to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (North East), Karkardooma courts, Delhi to proceed further in this case in accordance with law, the judge added.