IN A scathing indictment of the vigilance inquiry carried out by police into the alleged leak of an accused’s “confession statement” within the conspiracy case associated to the Northeast Delhi riots, the Delhi High Court Monday described the probe report submitted earlier than it as “half-baked”, “a useless piece of paper”, and “worse than…what they do in an ordinary theft case”.
The courtroom additionally requested the Special Commissioner of Police (Vigilance) to seem earlier than it Friday. It mentioned that such leaks have to be managed for “fairness” to the accused and for “purity of investigation”.
Hearing a petition filed by Jamia Millia Islamia pupil Asif Iqbal Tanha in opposition to the alleged leak, Justice Mukta Gupta mentioned: “Do you want me to comment on this vigilance inquiry? I will say this is a useless paper and rather it is contempt of court that this court had asked for a proper inquiry to be conducted on your own statement where you thought it was a matter of national importance and you were also aggrieved that your investigation papers have been leaked… and see this vigilance inquiry.”
“This vigilance inquiry is worse than even a routine PG (Public Grievance) Cell inquiry… what they do in an ordinary theft case,” noticed the courtroom.
The Delhi Police, which has denied any position within the alleged leak, advised the courtroom in a report on the standing of the vigilance inquiry that “copies of complete case file along with documents were sent by Special Cell to the administrative offices of GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) & MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) for obtaining approvals/ sanctions. Alleged leakage of the disclosure statement of the complainant by the investigating agency has not been substantiated so far.”
The courtroom, which had earlier sought the unique file of the inquiry, remarked: “Lest tomorrow you say it has been leaked from this office”. The remark was made after Delhi Police counsel Amit Mahajan submitted that he has not seen the file himself because it was straight despatched to the courtroom.
Questioning the vigilance conclusion that the allegation of a leak was “unsubstantiated”, the courtroom mentioned it could have been unsubstantiated when it could not have occurred. It mentioned the allegation was substantiated when the petitioner got here earlier than the courtroom and the query now could be who has achieved it. The media particular person is saying “it is in my hand” and is studying it out, it mentioned.
When the Delhi Police counsel submitted it was additionally aggrieved and motion will likely be taken in case the media outlet, Zee News, claims that some police personnel has supplied it to them, the courtroom noticed that it was a case of theft of paperwork if the property has been taken out illegally and unauthorizedly. “If he (media person) does not want to disclose (the source), then you register FIR,” noticed the courtroom.
Police responded that motion will likely be taken if the courtroom reaches the conclusion that theft has taken place. However, it additionally added that it has tried to take a look at case legal guidelines to search out if it quantities to theft however “tomorrow there will be an allegation against the government that we are trying to browbeat the media”. It added that campaigns are run when motion is taken in opposition to media homes and varied judgements have been handed by the Supreme Court in that background.
The bench mentioned “campaigns” don’t deter the courts and shouldn’t deter the federal government. “If any offence is committed, there is no bar… no judgement bars it,” it mentioned. Tanha’s counsel Siddharth Aggarwal submitted that the authorities beforehand have taken motion in opposition to the media after they have spoken in opposition to Delhi Police and one media home was as soon as even advised to not air something.
The courtroom additionally noticed that the information, when taken to the Delhi authorities or MHA for sanction, aren’t despatched by courier however taken by police officers by hand and handed over to officers there. It additional requested the place within the inquiry does it determine who took the file to the Delhi authorities and MHA, and introduced it again. The doc wouldn’t have been mendacity on the highway, noticed the courtroom.
“The IO (Investigating Officer) may still not be an IPS Officer but there it is a senior IAS officer. What did you do thereafter? Where have you noted who took the file to GNCTD and MHA and who brought it back. (Were) these disclosure statements even sent over there or not? What was the purpose? Was the purpose for sanction in which of course the complete file goes but once your investigation itself is not completed, where is the question of seeking sanction at this stage,” requested the courtroom, including the report is “absolutely silent” relating to the facets.
Observing that the file doesn’t even say who carried out the inquiry, the courtroom famous that it has additionally been permitted by the CP after its completion. “You had all the time from September 16 till January…that is more than four months… after four months, there are barely 4-5 statements which won’t have taken more than 10 minutes,” it added.
Tanha in his petition filed final 12 months has mentioned that the timing of the alleged leak of the purported assertion to the media and “publication of this false information purportedly from the police files, at a time when bail application of the petitioner is pending consideration before the trial court, creates a reasonable apprehension that the process of justice is being attempted to be subverted”.
The confession “statement” is inadmissible in regulation, argued his counsel Siddharth Aggarwal on Monday, including that Tanha was pronounced responsible even earlier than the start of trial within the case.
The courtroom beforehand had requested Zee News to reveal the supply from the place it bought the alleged assertion. However, the channel in a reply to courtroom had mentioned that its reporter bought a replica of “a few portions of the confessional statement” throughout its “extensive and relentless coverage” of the riots.