The government on Monday said it would advise the Lt Governor of Delhi to take a decision by month-end on the CBI application seeking permission for the prosecution of Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.
"We have advised the L-G to take the decision as early as possible…he must decide before the end of the month," Home Minister P Chidambaram informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Pacifying the agitated members during a Calling Attention Motion on the Sikh riots, he said L-G Tejendra Khanna is the "competent authority to take a decision" and not the Centre.
"The CBI has completed investigation/reinvestigation of seven cases registered against Tytler, Kumar and Dharam Das Shastri (now dead). It has sought permission to prosecute the accused in four cases," said the minister.
HT had earlier reported about the CBI having sought permission to prosecute Tytler and Kumar.
Admitting "inaction" during the last 25 years, Chidambaram blamed it on legal hurdles and said a law should have been made to ensure that the guilty were not let off the hook.
The action against Delhi Police personnel for dereliction of duty has been "most unsatisfactory," Chidambaram said, during a five-hour debate.
"In the last 25 years, the delinquent persons who got away with no punishment is the police," he replied to a motion moved by independent MP Tarlochan Singh.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said, "What happened in 1984 was not a 'riot'. It was a state-sponsored massacre of innocents. It was a revenge killing of thousands with the active connivance of the state."
He said 300 people died in police firing during the Gujarat riots. "How many were injured or died in police firing during 1984 riots?" he asked.
Shiromani Akali Dal Leader Naresh Gujral said his father I.K. Gujral and others had met then Home Minister Narasimha Rao and "begged him to call the Army".
"The Army was not called. It just waited for permission, 20 kilometre on the outskirts of Delhi," he added.
He asked the Home Minister to permit the CBI to prosecute all those named by the
Nanavati Commission, which probed the 1984 riots, within three days.
CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat said many persons killed were reported as missing and their families did not get any compensation.
She said the Congress regime "lacked political will" during the riots.
The then West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had dared anyone who attacked the Sikh community in the state and therefore there was no riot, she said.