A court in Delhi has ruled that five men accused of setting fire to a nursing home during the 2020 northeast Delhi riots will face trial on the charge of rioting, but will be cleared of the arson-related charges.
The court stated that there was no photographic evidence that the nursing home had been set ablaze and that the language used by the complainant and his employees was too general to establish that the nursing home was torched during the riots on February 24, 2020.
“I find that no clear-cut offence of Section 436 of the Indian Penal Code is made out against the accused persons. Accordingly, all of them are discharged for the offence…,” Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala said in an order passed on Tuesday. The judge transferred the case back to a magisterial court.
Section 436 refers to "mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house etc".
The court said there was no photograph of the nursing home to show it was torched by rioters, and instead a burnt ambulance's photo was placed on record.
It said the complainant and his two employees used “general language” to establish that a riotous mob burnt the nursing home during the riots on February 24, 2020.
“Had it been so, then the same could have been shown by way of placing photographs of this property as well, in the same manner as was done in respect of burnt ambulance,” the court said.
The Bhajanpura police station had registered an FIR against Abdul Sattar, Mohammed Khalid, Hunain, Tanveer Ali and Arif on the basis of the complainant's statement.