One of the police witnesses in a north-east Delhi riots case is lying on oath, a Delhi court has said after one policeman identified three alleged rioters but another said that they could not be identified during the investigation.
"This is a very sorry state of affairs," Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said, seeking a report from the Deputy Commissioner of Police (northeast) in this regard.
He made the observations after examination of four prosecution witnesses in the case, pertaining to the February 2020 riots in which 53 people had died and over 700 injured.
Notably, a head constable told the judge on oath in his evidence that he had identified rioters -- Vikas Kashyap, Golu Kashyap, and Rinku Subziwala. He is one of the prosecution witnesses.
"I had been the beat officer of the concerned area since the year 2019. I knew all the four accused persons and Vikas Kashyap, Golu Kashyap, and Rinku Subziwala by name and their appearance prior to the incident," he stated during the examination.
ASJ Yadav noted that the policeman "categorically asserted" about their presence at the spot at the time of riots and identified them by their names as well as professions.
On the contrary, another prosecution witness, an assistant sub-inspector stated that the three accused, although specifically named by the head constable, could not be identified during the probe.
"I had searched of remaining three accused persons but they could not be traced," he apprised the court.
Meanwhile, the investigating officer of the case said that there is nothing on record to substantiate that the three accused were ever investigated despite their names being there on record.
The judge then noted, "On the contrary, it is stated that the identity of these accused persons could not be established during investigation. There is no material on record that efforts were ever made by IO to apprehend the said accused persons. Prima facie, one of the police witnesses is lying on oath punishable under section 193 IPC."
It was also brought to the notice of the court by the defence counsels that these three persons have also been specifically named as accused in another FIR but even in that case they were not interrogated.
The court has completed the recording of the prosecution evidence and listed the matter for recording of statement of accused persons on October 30.
This case was registered on two complaints filed by Delhi's Bhagrathi Vihar area alleging that a riotous mob robbed and vandalized their property on February 26 last year. Charges of arson, theft, and rioting have been framed against four accused.