A Delhi court has framed charges of rioting and arson against nine accused in a February 2020 riots case, saying that it would be a "miscarriage of justice" to throw out the prosecution's case merely because the statements of the public witnesses were recorded after a delay.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said that the delay in recording statements of the witnesses by the police was not deliberate or contumacious and was occasioned on account of the situation which prevailed in Delhi's northeast area during and after the alleged rioting.
The nine accused were allegedly part of the unlawful assembly and caused damage, looted properties worth crores of rupees, burnt a large number of houses, shops, schools, and vehicles on February 25, 2020, as per the police. It relied on the statements of four public witnesses.
The judge took exception to the submission made by the defence counsel that the public witnesses were not trustworthy and were planted as their statements were recorded one month after the date of the alleged incident.