Twenty-eight years after the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage, cases of rioting are still awaiting a final verdict. The riots had broken out in the wake of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards.
The riot victims are still trudging along the judicial process. Stating that delay defeats justice, senior advocate HS Phoolka, counsel for the 1984 riot victims, said: “Punishment acts as a deterrent. The guilty should be punished. Now at this stage, complete justice is not possible.”
Of the 500 cases registered in their aftermath, 300 have gone for trial. Four cases were transferred to CBI.
There have been convictions in only 12 cases registered by the police, said Phoolka. He further said that despite so many acquittals, the Delhi Police have filed appeals in just 10 per cent of the cases. “Even these appeals are yet to be come up for a hearing before the HC,” Phoolka said, adding that a majority of those convicted are currently out on bail.
Three CBI cases allegedly involving Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler are still pending in the trial court.
In one of the four CBI case against former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, recording of evidence is yet to begin. Another case against Kumar is in the final argument stage. In the third case, Kumar’s acquittal has been challenged in the Delhi High Court.
All of these cases pertain to murder and promoting enmity between different communities.
The criminal case against another Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was closed by the trial court after the CBI filed a closure report. The acquittal has been challenged by the victims, which is still pending before a higher court.