New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): Delhi Police on Thursday opposed the plea of accused persons seeking deferment of arguments on charge till the investigation is completed. They moved the court in view of the ongoing investigation and filing of supplementary charge sheets.

While opposing the plea, Delhi police said that the right to further investigation is an unfettered right recognised by the Delhi High Court.

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Special judge Sameer Bajpai heard the arguments of the Delhi police. The matter has been listed on August 8 for arguments in rebuttal by the defence counsel.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Amit Prasad argued that there is no provision in law for granting the relief.

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The applications have been filed with clear intent to delay the trial. The trial has already been delayed since September 11, 2023 to date, SPP argued.

Delhi police said that the judgments relied upon by applicants do not help their case.

On the other hand, the prosecution relied upon a judgment from the Delhi High Court to contend that the right of further investigation is unfettered as recognized by the Delhi High Court.

Delhi police further relied upon a Supreme Court judgment to contend that once a chargesheet is filed in accordance with Section 173 CrPC, the proceedings can continue without awaiting supplementary charge sheets.

Another judgment of the Delhi High Court also relied upon wherein Delhi High Court in a situation where specific material was sought to be awaited held that the arguments on charge could continue and in the meantime, if any material comes, the accused can make additional submissions. SPP referred to the High Court order in the plea of Arun Ramchandra Pillai.

The prosecution said that the application of the accused was malafide and directed to delay the trial.

On January 31, 2024, the Counsel for Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita argued that even after 4 years of registration of FIR and filing of one charge sheet and four supplementary charge sheets, the investigation by Delhi police is still pending.

The court is hearing an application filed in September 2023 seeking clarity on the investigation of Delhi police in a larger conspiracy case before beginning arguments on the charge.

Advocate Adit S Pujari counsel for Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita had submitted that the investigation can't be pending by the time charges are framed against charge-sheeted accused persons.

Advocate Pujari submitted that the Police investigation has been pending for the last four years. People are languishing in jail.

He also referred to Delhi police submissions in other riot cases that they can start arguments on charge once the investigation is completed.

In this case, they (police) are saying that they can start arguments on charge even without completing the investigation, Pujari had argued.

Further investigation can't be done without permission. You (police) need to get permission for it, he added.

It is contended that the case of alleged 'larger conspiracy', cannot, and ought not to proceed, until the prosecution clears its stand as to the culmination of such conspiracy, and the people involved in such conspiracy.

The FIR in this case was registered on March 6, 2020. Delhi police have filed the final report, followed by the four Supplementary Charge Sheets (SCS) till now.

It is stated that even after 42 months of the investigation, Delhi police in the last SCS i.e. SCS-4 has submitted that the investigation in this case is continuing.

It is stated by the counsel that Delhi police had submitted in the charge sheet filed on 16.09.2020, on page 2690, that the criminal conspiracy is also continuing. No SCS after the said Charge sheet has averred that the conspiracy is complete.

For any arguments on discharge on the part of the applicants, it is pertinent that the prosecution states on the record the status of their investigation whether it is completed or not. Because, if arguments on charge begin on the basis of the present material on record, the prosecution has the ability to place further material on record (despite having taken more than 42 months to complete investigation) to fill in lacunae that will be pointed out by the Applicants to indicate how the chain of conspiracy is neither complete, nor investigated, and as such, seek a discharge, the accused counsel submitted.

Earlier, the court had directed to hear arguments on charges on a daily basis. (ANI)

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