1984 riots: Court queries police on destruction of records
New Delhi: Senior officers of Delhi Police were on Saturday directed by a city court, hearing a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, to place before it the statutory rules governing destruction of official records of the investigating agency.
The court`s directions came while hearing an application seeking prosecution of four Delhi Police officers, including the then ACP, for destroying the records and files of Nangloi case in 1992.
The court was hearing the riot case which was registered in 1991 with regard to the killing of four persons.
"I further direct the DCP (West)/ DCP (Legal) to place before this court the statutory rules governing destruction of official records of Delhi Police relating to Roznamcha A & B including P P P Vihar, road certificate, NCR books, filled inquests, untrace and cancelled files and all kinds of Kalandras.
"I am also informed that some office orders/standing orders are also being issued from time to time as to how the destruction of record is required to be conducted.
"I therefore direct that in case if there were any officer orders/ standing orders issued by the Police Department during the period 1991-1992 so governing the destruction of records, the same be also placed before this court on the next date," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said and sent the copy of the order to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (West)/ DCP (Legal) for compliance.
The court listed the matter for February 7 for hearing arguments and disposing of a plea moved by Special Public Prosecutor B S Joon seeking prosecution of the then SHO Police Station Nangloi Inspector Rampal Singh, SI Dalel Singh, the then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh and the then SHO R S Dahiya.
He alleged in the plea that these four officials were responsible for destroying the relevant records relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots of Nangloi Police Station which they did deliberately to save the accused in the present case despite lodging of the present FIR on August 28, 1991.
In the riot case registered at Nangloi police station, accused Satpal Gupta, Dalel Singh, Ram Pal Singh and Karan Singh are facing trial while two others, Prem Chand and Ram Niwas died during the pendency of the case.
The prosecutor also sought invocation of the provision of Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC against the accused along with these four police officers.
The court also posed 10 questions to the prosecutor and the defence counsel and asked them to reply on the next date.
The judge said that Joon`s application was "misleading in its title" as it seeks alteration/addition of charges under Section 216 of the CrPC whereas the contents of the plea says that he was seeking invocation of powers vested in this court under section 319 of the CrPC for summoning the officers of the Investigating Agency i.E. The then ACP, SHO and other officers of the Police Station Nangloi.
"The State through the Prosecution is in fact seeking to put these police officers in the dock by charging them with a deliberate destruction of relevant records of Nangloi Police Station Nangloi relating to anti-Sikh riots which they claim has been done on February 5, 1992 in order to save the accused persons despite registration of FIR on August 28, 1991.
"Under no circumstances any charge as prayed for by the special public prosecutor be invoked without this court first summoning the said persons as accused which can only be done under Section 319 CrPC...," the court said.
"Merely because the special public prosecutor now seeks invocation of this extraordinary power of the court under Section 319 CrPC by masking his application under Section 216 CrPC at this belated stage when the case is at final hearing, does not obligate the court to act in haste. There are a large number of issues of both law and facts which both the State and defence need to answer...," it said.
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