A court in Delhi on Saturday directed Delhi Police to get two witnesses in a case related to the northeast Delhi communal violence of February tested for COVID-19 before their statements are recorded.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhir Kumar Sirohi asked the investigating officer to get the prosecution witnesses tested for COVID-19 for safety and security of the court staff and the police officials in the prevailing circumstances before the court records their statement.
The court was hearing the case in which Jamia Coordination Committee members Meeran Haider, Sarfoora Zargar, Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association President Shifa-ur-Rehman, suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain have been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly instigating people during the violence.
"Two applications have been moved for recording the statement of witnesses..., but it has been informed that both these witnesses have not been tested for COVID-19, therefore for safety and security of court staff and the police officials in the prevailing circumstances, I deem fit that both these witnesses be tested for COVID-19 before recording their statement," the judge said.
On May 10, a circular issued by Saket District Court had stated that one of its judges had gone into self quarantine at home for 14 days because her husband, who is also a judge posted at Tis Hazari Courts complex, came in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient while recording his statement.
In the communal violence case, police has alleged that it was a "pre-meditated conspiracy" and former JNU student leader Umar Khalid along with others instigated the mob which led to stone pelting and use of firearms.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.