29 July 2020
Madurai/ New Delhi
Delhi Police Hides Key Information and Documents of Riot Cases
The riots that rocked the North-East Delhi during last week of February this year (2020), was a planned and organised violence targetting members of Muslim community. As media reports and independent fact finding reports, including the Delhi State Minority Commission report have revealed, a large majority of those who were mercilessly killed, severely injured and properties lost were Muslims.
Instead of protecting the lives and properties of innocent people during riots, the Delhi Police under the Union Home Ministry has sided with the rioters in revenging the minority community members. Even after the riots, the Delhi Police remains to be a tool in the hands of its political masters in continuing the vendetta by letting free the real culprits and their conspirators owing allegiance to Sangh Parivar and falsely implicating innocent local Muslims, other community leaders and every political dissident who dared to play a role in the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR agitations in Delhi.
The innocent Muslims and other activists were falsely implicated, harassed and arbitrarily arrested in stringent provisions of law viz., sec. 124A of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, etc. Moreover, the participants of democratic protests at Shaheen bagh and other places in Delhi and the students of Jamia Millia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University have also been booked for dissenting the government policies which is the democratic rights guaranteed by our Constitution. On the other hand, the police was not ready to register the FIR against the BJP leaders, the Union Ministers and other Sangh Parivar associates who were the real instigators and conspirators of riots, even after being questioned by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the urgent hearing at the mid-night of February 27.
The Delhi police refused to fulfill its duty by making submissions that the situation was “not conducive” to file FIRs in the matter then and by seeking four week time to respond the plea. Subsequently, Hon’ble Justice Muralidhar, who heard the matter was suddenly transferred to Punjab & Haryana High Court.
It is in this background that the claims of Delhi Police working under MHA about its neutrality becomes farce and its partiality is being unmasked. Hence, by way of evidence to its claimed honest noy and integrity, the Delhi Police has to reveal community wise data of the charges and sections imposed on each accused, number of people arrested, number of people still serving in prison and the number of those who got bail. They should also publicise all names that appear in FIRs along with their party/ organisation affiliations and leadership positions. The civil society have the right to know the case status of known RSS-BJP leaders and cadres who openly played lead role in attacking innocent Muslims, their dwellings, shops and mosques.
In this regard, NCHRO Secretary filed a RTI application before the Public Information Officer (PIO) cum Addl. Deputy Commissioner of Police, North-East District of Delhi on 19 June and sought information about the FIRs, accused persons and related documents in connection with communal violence erupted in North-East Delhi on 24 February 2020 onwards. Their reply dated 22.07.2020, from the PIO Shri. Sukant S.Ballabh was received on Monday (27 July 2020), in which only a very minimum part of information was provided as follows:
Question: How many First Information Reports (FIRs) have been registered in different police stations till date related to the above mentioned communal violence?
Answer: As per report of all SHOs/NED, a total of 754 FIRs r/o riots have been registered in this district
Question: How many FIRs have been investigated by the concerned jurisdictional police stations?
Answer: As per report of all SHOs/NED, total 693 FIRs r/o riots are being investigated in this district
Question: How many FIRs have been transferred to the Crime Branch for investigation till date?
Answer: As per report of all SHOs/NED, total 61 FIRs
Question: How many FIRs have been transferred to the Special Cell for investigation till date?
Answer: As mentioned in the above answer
Question: How many accused persons have been arrested till date in each FIR?
Answer: As per report of all SHOs/NED, total 1,142 arrest r/o cases regarding riots have been made in this district.
Question: In how many FIRs/ Cases, the Charge Sheets were filed before the concerned jurisdictional Magistrate/ Court till date?
Answer: As per report of all SHOs/NED, total 171 cases in r/o riots have been put in court in this district.
Out of 34 questions asked, the Addl. DCP provided information only for 5 questions. The rest of the questions related to the copy of FIRs, names of the arrested persons, their bail details – station bail and court bail, judicial remand, copy of remand applications, copy of remand orders, number of the accused persons taken into police custody for one time as well as multiple times, copy of charge alteration reports, date on which court the charge sheets have been filed, copy of charge sheets, etc., have not been answered by the Addl. DCP citing the following: “As per report of all SHOs/NED, the requisite details/ information cannot be provided in view of section 8(1) (g, j & h) of RTI Act, 2005 being very sensitive information and related to law & order”.
The contention of the Addl. DCP is unsustainable. While filing the application it was clearly stated that the requested information and documents are public documents. They won’t come under the provisions of exempted category of u/s 8 of the RTI Act. Moreover, the requested information and documents will not affect the on-going process of investigation. This is because, FIRs are completed documents; details of accused persons, remand days and dates of custody are the open court details and there is nothing to conceal from the public on the eyes of law. Moreover, the remand applications, police custody applications, charge alteration reports and charge sheets were submitted in open court and they are also public documents.
Didn’t request any information or document, which will affect the ongoing process of investigation. So, the information and documents requested can’t be denied in the name of exempted category. Even then, the major portion of information was denied by the Addl. DCP.
According to the Delhi police hierarchy, it has two different units as Crime Branch and Special Cell. The riots cases are now being investigated by the three agencies viz. jurisdictional police stations of North East Delhi (SHOs/NED), Crime Branch and Special Cell.
According to the RTI reply, 693 out of 754 cases are being investigated by the SHOs of NED and rest on-going process of investigation. This is because, FIRs are completed documents; details of accused persons, remand days and dates of custody are the open court details and there is nothing to conceal from the public on the eyes of law.
Moreover, the remand applications, police custody applications, charge alteration reports and charge sheets were submitted in open court and they are also public documents. We didn’t request any information or document, which will affect the ongoing process of investigation. So, the information and documents requested can’t be denied in the name of exempted category. Even then, the major portion of information was denied by the Addl. DCP.
of the 61 cases have been transferred to the Crime Branch. To the question, “How many FIRs have been transferred to the Special Cell for investigation till date?’, the answer was the same as 61 cases. So, the 61 transferred FIRs are being investigated by the Crime Branch and Special Cell.
In the disguise of exempted category, Delhi police denied the key information and documents which are made to be public, to prove the honesty, integrity and impartiality of the Delhi police. As a follow up measure, We will file the appeal against the denial of information before the first appellate authority, who is the Deputy Commissioner of Police, North East Delhi.
Our efforts have to be continued till the last culprit is punished by the courts of law and till the last innocent is exonerated of false charges.
RTI To Delhi Police : Application filed u/s 6(1) of Right To Information Act, 2005
RTI Reply from Delhi Police