The Centre on Monday sought time from the Delhi High Court to respond to its pointed query whether the President was informed about actual circumstances under which 14 members of a Sikh family were arrested during the 1984 riots by former IPS officer Amod Kanth who was later awarded a medal.
"Fix the matter on December 9 for further hearing," Justice S Murlidhar said after being informed by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A S Chandiok that he needed some more time to check whether the office of the President was apprised of the conditions which led to the arrest.
The ASG was asked to respond to the allegations that the arrested Sikhs included five women and four children and they had allegedly fired in self defence after their house at Paharganj was beseiged by anti-Sikh rioters in 1984 following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Amrik Singh, who was among the arrested, seeking stripping Kanth and his junior colleague S S Manan, the then SHO of Paharganj police station, of their President's police medals for their alleged acts of "omission and commission".
It was alleged in the plea that the arrested persons were victims of the violence in which around 4,000 innocent Sikhs were killed.
The alleged firing was done from licensed weapons and that too in self defence and this fact was "distorted" by the former police officers to secure the medals, the petition said.
"It is a shame that the police officers were conferred with the medals for arresting the family members of the victim community during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots," H S Phoolka, who is an amicus curiae (friend of the court), said.
Earlier, Phoolka had argued that it was wrongly conveyed to the President that Kanth had done a commendable job of maintaining law and order in the Central Delhi district which he headed as Deputy Commissioner of police during the riots.
The petition also seeks punishment for the police officers for "harassing and implicating them and his family members in the false criminal case and for playing fraud against the government of India for getting the President's Police Medal."