NE Delhi riots case: First person to be convicted gets five-year jail term

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A Delhi court Thursday sentenced the first person to be convicted in a Northeast Delhi riots case to five years rigorous imprisonment for trespassing into a woman’s home and setting it on fire.

Sentencing the convict, Dinesh Yadav, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said: “It cannot be gainsaid that the offence committed by the convict was a very serious one. However, no evidence had been led by the prosecution to prove that the unlawful assembly of which the convict was a member had been formed in pursuance to some conspiracy.”

The court said that the convict was a first-time offender and has clean past antecedents. “It is also to be kept in mind that the convict has been held guilty only by virtue of Section 149 IPC and there was no evidence that he had directly committed the incident of violence in which the house of the victim, Manori Devi, had been vandalised and burnt. The young age of the convict also deserves to be kept in consideration while deciding the quantum of sentence to be imposed upon him,” the order read.

Special Public Prosecutor RCS Bhadoria asked the court to hand an exemplary sentence to the convict who was found guilty for being “part of an unlawful assembly which created large scale disturbances to defame India”.

Yadav’s lawyer asked for a lenient sentence since he had reformed himself and learnt his lesson by spending more than a year in jail.

The prosecution’s request to ask the convict to compensate the prosecution for an expense of Rs 83,000 was also denied by the court considering the fact that the convict was unemployed and did not have any movable or immovable property in his name.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 12,000 on the convict which will be paid to Manori. Considering the fact that she received a compensation of Rs 50,000 from the Delhi government, the court said further fine shall not be imposed on the convict since it would be unjustified.

On February 25, 2020, a mob of over a 100 people trespassed into 67-year-old Manori’s house and set it ablaze during the riots. Manori escaped the area with her daughter and two grandchildren and stayed for a month at a relative’s home.

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