Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani directed that the statement of “eyewitness”, Mohd. Wasim, be recorded by the magistrate concerned in a week. He was hearing a petition by Kismatun seeking a court-monitored Special Investigation Team probe into the death of her son, Faizan.
The HC will hear the case again on May 30.
A purported video that surfaced during the 2020 riots showed Faizan and four other young Muslim men being beaten up by policemen and forced to sing the national anthem and the national song.
In August 2020, an Amnesty International India report on the riots highlighted Faizan’s case, alleging that the police detained him for nearly 36 hours without any charge and then handed him to his mother after his condition deteriorated, leading to his death.
A case over Faizan’s murder was registered at the Bhajanpura police station on February 28, 2020, and the investigation later transferred to the Delhi Police Crime Branch.
Mr. Wasim, represented by advocate Mehmood Pracha, told the court he was among the five people beaten up and, thus, an eyewitness to the incident as well as the events that transpired later at the police station.
Appearing for Ms. Kismatun, advocate Vrinda Grover said there was a “targeted hate crime” against Faizan and a court-monitored investigation was required to rupture the “brotherhood of khaki” and fix accountability on erring officials.
She stressed that the deceased was admittedly not involved in rioting and his post-mortem report showed an increase in the number of injuries he sustained during his detention at the police station. The police officials have “suppressed” and “fudged” the record in the matter, she added.
As the high court observed that a status report filed by the police in a sealed cover in the matter “itself contains information that is damning”, Ms. Grover said, “Everything is in their knowing and yet no action takes place.”
Delhi Police’s counsel submitted that despite being asked, Mr. Wasim has not cooperated in recorded a statement.
“Let the applicant be produced before the magistrate concerned for recording his statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Let it be recorded in one week and a copy of the same be placed on record,” the court ordered.