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Delhi riots: It is end of rule of law if probe is carried on basis of media reports, cops to court

Police also argued that there was allegedly another narrative of "inscrutable indolence" created by the accused to show the prosecution in a bad light.

Published: 14th December 2020 08:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2020 08:21 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi Riots

Protesters during clashes in Northeast Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi police alleged before a court here on Monday that JNU student Devangana Kalita, accused in a north east Delhi riots case, was creating a 'narrative' in the media to show BJP leader Kapil Mishra was behind the communal violence and if the investigation, the prosecution and the country was to continue on the foundation of what is being reported in the media, then that is the end of rule of law.

Police also argued that there was allegedly another narrative of "inscrutable indolence" created by the accused to show the prosecution in a bad light.

The submissions were made before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat during the hearing of Kalita's bail application in the case of larger conspiracy to the riots.

Kalita's counsel advocate Adit Pujari had earlier referred to a media report which stated that as per an alleged internal report of the police, it was pro-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters who carried out an attack on a Bhim Army vehicle.

Pujari had argued that the riots were not started by the anti-CAA protestors, but allegedly by the pro-CAA protestors led by Mishra.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad, appearing for the police, claimed that the accused was creating 'narratives' to allegedly show that Mishra was behind the riots and making it viral to make people believe that it was the truth.

"First the accused create a narrative and then make the larger masses believe that the narrative that you are giving out is correct, so that the masses believe that the prosecution is targeted against one community. Are these media reports decide the fate of prosecution? This cannot be," Prasad said.

He further said that narratives were created to show that the police was allegedly carrying out a biased investigation.

"The accused is trying to show that Kapil Mishra was behind all these and that the police was investigating only one side. The accused first created a narrative and then they make it viral and then make people believe that this is what happened as everybody is saying so. The accused create a narrative and file multiple petitions on it. Media houses pick it up and that media houses will continue to pick up the narrative because it has been pleaded that in the petitions and then most of the people will start believing that."

"Why has the accused relied on media reports? Because the accused also need to take shelter under something. Instead of investigating agency doing the investigation, the accused would rather use all the contemporaneous media reports to make the court believe that what they are saying was correct. That is why these narratives are created.

"If the investigation, the prosecution and this country is to continue on the foundation of what is being reported in the media, then that is the end of rule of law," Prasad said.

He argued that there was allegedly another narrative to show the prosecution in a bad light.

"They (accused's counsel) have used fancy words like inscrutable indolence, insidious," he said.

Regarding Pujari's contention that the prosecution had selectively placed messages from WhatsApp chats to prove their case against Kalita, Prasad said every bit and pieces of investigation cannot be part of the charge sheet.

"We have to understand that every bit and pieces of investigation cannot be part of the chargesheet. The prosecution is not supposed to put every details of the investigation on record merely because it has come on record of prosecution. The prosecution has to filter the material, see what is relevant to the case and if it is found that certain material is not relevant to the case, that material is not to be placed on record."

"So it is only the relevant material which has to make its way to the charge sheet. Now if the accused believes that there is a very particular message which proves their innocence, they have to point that out. They cannot do a fishing and roving inquiry and state to bring the entire material on record. The accused wants to pass aspersions on the prosecution" When you do not have any power to convince the court, then you want to confuse the court," the public prosecutor said.

He further said that there was prima facie material against Kalita and the court had taken cognisance of the charge sheet after going through the evidence put on record.

He said Kalita cannot say that her case was different from that co-accused Sharjeel Imam and that they were following separate paths.

"I have demonstrated from the tweet of Pinjra Tod that Pinjra Tod was supporting Sharjeel Imam. From the speeches of Imam, it is clear what was the intent. When I want to connect the two, the accused says they were travelling in separate paths and not to connect them. All that the accused was trying to do is create a narrative and not go beyond that," Prasad claimed.

He further said from the statements of witnesses, it was seen that the narrative that pro-CAA protestors started the riots was false.

To this, Pujari said just because Kalita was part of the Pinjra Tod group, it does not mean that she supported Imam.

He further said that there were posters to free Imam at the farmers' protests too.

"Are all those farmers also part of the riots too? Multiple people have different views. That's the beauty of democracy," he said.

The court has put up the matter for further hearing on December 16.

Pujari had earlier alleged that the police had carried out an "insidious prosecution" against Kalita.



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