New Delhi: A court here has acquitted eight persons allegedly involved in a police encounter in 2003 and pulled up Delhi Police for shoddy investigation observing that "legitimacy of judicial process" will be under cloud if acts of violations are condoned.
Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain gave benefit of doubt to the eight accused and said the prosecution has failed to prove its case.
The eight men acquitted by the court are Delhi residents Sanjay and Virender Singh and Haryana residents Rohtash, Sonu, Dharmender, Sandeep, Vikram and Narinder.
Rohtash had absconded during the trial proceedings and was declared as proclaimed offender. The court, however, also acquitted him in absentia.
The ninth accused, Rakesh, had initially absconded but was killed in a police encounter in Haryana in 2007. The proceedings against him were abated.
Pulling up the police for not probing the case properly, the court said it made "namesake attempt" to join passersby as independent witnesses and they too were let off in a "very casual manner".
"The legitimacy of judicial process may come under cloud if the court is seen to condone acts of violation of such safeguards which undermine respect of law," the judge said.
The court pulled up the police for failing to conduct the Test Identification Parade (TIP) proceedings of three accused Sanjay, Dharmender and Sonu, who were arrested in the case later on the basis of disclosure statements of co-accused.
It said encounter took at a place where there was poor visibility and the accused ran away when bullets were fired at them, yet no TIP was conducted on their arrest later on.
According to prosecution, on April 17, 2013, on a secret information, that notorious persons involved in various murder and dacoities will meet at their accomplice place, Delhi police officials conducted a raid.
As soon as police reached the spot under Sultanpuri police station, the accused in two cars started firing at the raiding party in which one of the cops was injured and four were arrested, while rest five managed to flee.