Delhi riots: Set aside trial court order asking for ‘voluminous’ physical charge sheet, police urge HC

Delhi Violence

The Delhi High Court was on Wednesday requested by the Delhi Police to set aside an order of the trial court directing it to supply a physical copy of the charge sheet along with other additional documents to all the accused booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the riots and violence that broke out in the national capital’s North East district earlier this year.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad while representing the Delhi Police urged a single-judge bench of the High Court presided by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait to set aside the order passed by the trial court on September 21 and October 21.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on November 6. In its plea, the Delhi Police has contended the police report itself runs into about 2,700 pages, a total number of documents and statements of witness running into about 18,000 pages.

“There are 23 volumes including the police report which were filed before the trial court. The petition was filed under Section 482 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) whereby the petitioner is challenging the legality and validity of orders,” the plea said.

“The trial court has directed the state to supply a physical copy of the charge sheet along with other documents to the accused persons. While doing so, the trial court was pleased to put the ‘onus to supply’ completely on the investigating agency ignoring the legal provisions in this regard,” Prasad submitted before the court.

“The impugned Order is ex-facie erroneous and devoid of any merits. The Ld. Trial Court has erred in interpreting Section 207 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure, 1973,” the plea filed by the Delhi Police said.

It further stated that the Trial Court passed a mechanical order by allowing applications under Section 207 of the CrPC.

The plea stated that the trial court failed to take into account that the Prosecution readily offered to supply electronic format copy of the charge sheet which was sufficient compliance of the mandate of law and thus there was no justification to direct the investigating agency to supply physical copy of the charge sheet.

Delhi riots: Set aside trial court order asking for 'voluminous' physical charge sheet, police urge HC

It also stated that the police does not possess a copying agency as is available under the office of the court. “the investigating agency is not assigned any corpus or funds for getting copies of charge sheet prepared and as such investigating agency has limited resources,” it said.

In the present matter, while Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad appeared for the Delhi Police, suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councilor and main accused Tahir Hussain is being represented by senior advocate K K Manan and Advocate Uditi Bali.

On September 16, the Delhi Police had filed a voluminous charge sheet against 15 accused under UAPA, Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act in the riots case.

According to the charge sheet, clashes between the citizenship law supporters and protesters had spiralled out of control, leaving 53 persons dead and 748 others injured.

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