A Delhi court has strongly criticized the former investigating officers in a case linked to the 2020 Delhi riots, accusing them of submitting reports “relying on hearsay evidence.” Consequently, the court has permitted a new investigating officer (IO) to conduct further investigations into the case.

The new IO, Arvind Kumar, requested court permission to undertake additional investigations aimed at clarifying the exact time and date of the incidents outlined in the initial First Information Report (FIR) filed in 2020 at the Gokulpuri police station, which included charges of rioting, arson, and unlawful assembly.

In his application, Kumar stated, “So far, the reported timing of the alleged incidents in previous charge sheets is based on statements from complainants and witnesses who did not personally witness the incidents and instead relied on information from others.”

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala approved the application while rebuking the former IOs for wasting the court’s time. The judge expressed frustration, stating, “…it is highly regrettable that the prior IOs effectively squandered the court’s time by submitting investigative reports based on hearsay evidence.”

In a previous instance in January, the court had directed the police to provide evidence establishing the date and time of each incident in the case. Despite these directions and the passage of additional time, the former IO failed to locate the relevant witnesses.

Consequently, the matter was referred to the police commissioner for an inquiry into the conduct of the former IOs, with a ruling that the officials must exercise sensitivity and avoid needlessly consuming the court’s time.

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