Uncategorized Delhi riots: Delhi HC dismisses plea against more time...

Delhi riots: Delhi HC dismisses plea against more time for Delhi Police

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea filed by an accused in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 case, in connection with the northeast Delhi riots, against a trial court order allowing the Delhi Police more time to probe the matter.

The judgment was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru in a petition filed by Khalid, a member of the group ‘United Against Hate’, who is an accused in a case filed by the Crime Branch in March over an alleged “pre-planned conspiracy”.

The lower court had last month allowed the investigating agency’s application for extension of time for a probe till September 14.

Advocates Bhavook Chauhan, Rajat Kumar, Harsh Bora, Praavita Kashyap, Tushar Yadav on behalf of the Khalid , argued that  the order of the lower court violates principles of natural justice as he was neither provided a copy of the application nor given a “meaningful opportunity” to oppose it.

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The counsel on behalf of the Delhi Police, ASG Aman Lekhi, advocates Ujjwal Sinha, Shantnu Shara, Dhruv Pande, Aniket Seth, Samarth Khanna submitted that the necessary ingredients for seeking extension of time for completion of the investigation were set out in the UAPA and judgments passed by the Supreme Court and the same were fully complied with.

Further, in the present case, Khalid was anyway given full opportunity to oppose the application for extending the time for completion of the investigation.

After recording the submissions of the parties, the Court noted that by virtue of the proviso to Section 167 CrPC, as introduced by virtue of Section 43D(2)(b) UAPA, the detention of a UAPA accused could be extended to a period of one hundred and eighty days. The same could be done only if the court concerned is satisfied with the report of the public prosecutor on the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused beyond the period of ninety days.

“In order to ensure the efficacy and secrecy of investigation, it is necessary to conceal the public prosecutor’s report on the progress of investigations and also the reasons why it has remained incomplete. Disclosure of such information may provide an opportunity for tampering with evidence, which is yet to be collected,”

observed by the High Court.

Read Also: SC ‘astonished’ at a lower court framing indictment against political leader after 36 years

Court is of the view that ample opportunity was provided to Khalid to make a representation to oppose the extension of time.

“A plain reading of the written submissions filed on behalf of petitioner indicates that the petitioner had limited his submissions to insisting that a copy of the application cum report of the public prosecutor be supplied to it in order for the petitioner to make further submissions.” 

In view of the above observation  the Court held that petition deserved to be dismissed.

-India Legal Bureau

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