Anti-Sikh riot cases set to be reopened

Anti-Sikh riot cases set to be reopened

PTI file photo

The Union government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has accepted the Justice S N Dhingra committee report, pointing to “connivance” of Delhi Police, the state and prosecution in not filing an appeal in the anti-Sikh riots cases. This may pave the way for reopening of some of the cases in the riots that shook the national capital in the wake of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

“We have accepted the report, we will act accordingly,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The Justice Dhingra committee re-examined 186 closed cases. It castigated the state, the prosecution and the police for not filing appeals in time. It has directed the state to file appeals in acquittals in some cases by “reconstructing records” as files were destroyed.

Senior advocate R S Suri, appearing for S Gurlad Singh Kahlon of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, said that the report was crystal clear, some appeals must be filed.

“Though 25 years have elapsed after acquittals, it is a tough task,” he said.

He said there was a damning report by Justice Dhingra on police officials for their “connivance” in the matter.

Suri sought time to file an application for directions.

The Supreme Court had on January 11, 2018 constituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra and comprising retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular to supervise the further investigation into the 186 riots cases, in which closure reports had been filed earlier.

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