The Delhi High Court today 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 has issued on receiving a complaint or representation in Delhi Riots Cases.
The Court has questioned Special Commissioner of Police 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.
A single-judge bench of Delhi HC comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait while hearing the petition through video conferencing asked the Special Commissioner Praveer Ranjan that any officer who is investigating the present case has to be given any sort of communication or not, and further asked him to present such 5 letters before the Court.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Sahil Parvez and Mohd. Saeed Salmani, who have lost their parents during the riots. Sahil’s father Parvez died after facing a Gun Shot. Whereas, Saeed’s Mother was lynched by rioters who also set the home of the family on fire. The petition has been filed alleging that a disciplinary inquiry must be initiated against Mr. Praveer Ranjan 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.
Justice Suresh Kait while hearing the matter has asked him 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.
However, Mr. Praveer 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.
It claimed that the senior police officer’s order said, “community representatives are alleging that these arrests are made without any evidence and are even insinuating that such arrests are being made for some personal reasons”.
It also claimed that the police officer’s order stated: “Due care and precaution be taken while arresting any person. All evidences including direct and technical evidences be properly analysed and that all the arrests are backed by sufficient evidence be ensured. No arbitrary arrest should be made in any case and all evidences must be discussed with Special PPs (public prosecutors) assigned for each case.”
The order purportedly added: “Supervisory officers ACPs/DCPs-SIT & Additional CP/Crime (Headquarters) may guide the IOs (investigating officers) suitably.”
During the hearing, the high court said there is no dispute that senior officers have to guide the juniors as per the current ground situation.
The court made it clear that whether notice is to be issued on the petition or not will be decided after pursuing the letters to be placed by the police.
The petition claimed, “Clearly under pressure from these efforts, respondent no.4 (Special CP) issued an order dated July 8 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 petition has arrayed Centre, Delhi government, Delhi Police Commissioner, its Special CP, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) and Station House Officers of Police Stations Jafrabad and Bhajanpura in North East Delhi.
-India Legal Bureau
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