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Delhi riots: HC allows two to withdraw pleas, move trial court

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) While hearing a slew of petitions related to the recent Delhi riots, the Delhi High Court, here on Monday, allowed two petitioners to withdraw their pleas for registration of FIRs under section 156(3) of the CrPC, with the liberty to approach the trial court.

Updated Jul 27, 2020 11:19 AM

Delhi riots: HC allows two to withdraw pleas, move trial court

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, allowed petitioners Harsh Mandar and Brinda Karat, represented by senior lawyer Kapil Sibal and advocate Adit Pujari, respectively, to withdraw their pleas.

The court also adjourned the batch of remaining petitions for further hearing on next Monday, noting some of the rejoinders and counter-affidavits were not on-record.

During the hearing, the Bench expressed displeasure over submissions made by Ajay Gautam, one of the petitioners. When Gautam submitted that one community intentionally made an attempt to destabilise the peace of the country, the court said, "Don't make political speeches here."

"One of the communities made an attempt to destabilise the peace of the country because they were frustrated since the verdict in the Ram Mandir case was pronounced by the Supreme Court," Gautam had said.

On the previous date of hearing, the court had granted final opportunity to the parties to file affidavits and rejoinders.

Recently, the police in its affidavit in the court had claimed they acted promptly, vigilantly and effectively without any fear or favour as a result of which violence could be contained in few days and to a limited area.

Statements of political leaders across the party line were being examined, they added.

"Speeches of political leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma and Waris Pathan, are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course if it's found on the evidence that their speeches had any connection with the riots," the voluminous police document read.

One of the petitioners, sought formation of the special investigation team (SIT) to assess property damage during the recent Delhi riots.

Communal violence broke out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after clashes between supporters and opponents of the citizenship law spiralled out of control, leaving 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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