1984 riots: Supreme Court seeks files of 199 closed cases
To find out why a Special Investigating Team (SIT), formed two years ago to probe anti-Sikh riots cases, has closed down a large number of cases, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Central government to submit records of 199 cases closed by the three-member team.delhi Updated: Mar 24, 2017 23:31 IST
To find out why a Special Investigating Team (SIT), formed two years ago to probe anti-Sikh riots cases, has closed down a large number of cases, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Central government to submit records of 199 cases closed by the three-member team.
The SIT, formed by the home ministry in February 2015, has handled a total of 293 cases related to anti-Sikh riots, out of which it has decided to close 199 after scrutiny.
The three-member SIT comprised of two IPS officers in the rank of inspector general, and a judicial officer. The SIT has been constituted following a recommendation of a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge justice (retd) GP Mathur, which was set up to look into the possibility of re-investigation of the 1984 riots cases.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said it intends to focus on the 199 cases in which the SIT has decided not to launch any prosecution. The bench also comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice MM Shantanagoudar gave three weeks time to the Centre to submit the records and put the case for further hearing on April 25.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi argued that in as many as 262 cases, there was no trace of any victim or witness.
On the other hand, senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for petitioner S Gurlad Kahlon, argued that “there was no transparency in how the SIT was closing cases”. Datar contended that the SIT has filed only four charge sheets so far in connection with the anti-Sikh riots cases.
Datar said the SIT has completed preliminary enquiry in 28 cases and another 35 were under the process. Seven more cases were pending for consideration by the SIT, he said.
In addition, 59 cases were taken up by the SIT for further investigation, out of which it has decided to close 42 after the probe. Investigation is pending in case of the remaining 17, Datar said.
At the outset, the bench asked the Attorney General on setting up a separate body to monitor the 1984 riots cases.
Attorney General Rohatgi said that a high-powered SIT was already looking into these cases and its tenure would last till August 11 this year.
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots that broke out after assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone.