Chidambaram on Delhi riots chargesheet: Police have ‘brought criminal justice system to ridicule’


By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: September 13, 2020 8:37:39 pm





States need 'hard cash', govt's 'letter of comfort' has no value: Chidambaram on GST compensationHe also questioned how “if an accused (Gulfisha Fathima) mentions a name in her statement, that person will be named as an accused in the charge sheet”. (File)

Congress leader P Chidambaram Sunday said the Delhi Police had brought the “criminal justice system to ridicule” by naming CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav and other scholars in a supplementary chargesheet filed citing “disclosure statements” in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots case.

“Delhi police have brought the criminal justice system to ridicule by naming Mr. Sitaram Yechury and many other scholars and activists in a supplementary charge sheet in the Delhi riots case,” Chidambaram said.

The former finance minister then went on to ask, “Has the Delhi police forgotten that between the Information and Charge Sheet there are important steps called Investigation and Corroboration”.

The other people named in the disclosure statement include economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy.

The original chargesheet, filed in a Karkardooma court by the Crime Branch, was against Pinjra Tod members Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal and Jamia Millia Islamia’s Gulfisha Fathima in connection with the violence at Jafrabad where an anti-CAA sit-in was held before the riots began. All three are also facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case filed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.

Yechury and Yadav, police said, were named in Gulfisha’s disclosure statement, stating that they took part in anti-CAA demonstrations to “provoke and mobilise” crowds.

“If an accused (Gulfisha Fathima) mentions a name in her statement, that person will be named as an accused in the chargesheet,” Chidambaram questioned.

Chidambaram said he was glad that former police officer Julio Ribeiro had “upbraided” the Delhi police for its “biased handling” of the Delhi riots case.  “Will the Delhi police listen to this iconic police officer,” he further asked.

Read | Retd IPS officer Julio Ribeiro questions Delhi riots probe

The disclosure statements of Kalita and Narwal are almost identical, starting with the mention of hatching a conspiracy in December when Ghosh, Apoorvanand and Roy allegedly “explained” to them that “we have to protest against CAA/NRC for which we can go to any extreme”; Umar Khalid’s “tips for doing protest against CAA/NRC”; and even a spelling mistake that mentions “massage” instead of message.

Narwal and Kalita refused to sign the disclosure statements, the chargesheet stated.

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal also hit out at the ruling BJP. “The BJP has reached new lows in its attempt to suppress peaceful dissent against its policies which have torn the socio-economic-politico fabric of this nation,” he said. “The misuse of Delhi police to choke voices like Sitaram Yechury and others is shameful and highly condemnable,” he said.

Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said, “This is worse than atrocious. I am in full solidarity with those chargesheeted. They are greater desh bhakts than the fraudulent ones in power now.”

Delhi Police spokesperson Anil Mittal, in an official statement, said, “It is worth mentioning that the disclosure statement has been truthfully recorded as narrated by the accused person. A person is not arraigned as an accused only on the basis of the disclosure statement. However, it is only on the existence of sufficient corroborative evidence that further legal action is taken. The matter is currently sub judice.”

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