Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Supreme Court lawyer, HS Phoolka, has expressed surprise over chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's demand for setting up a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation team (SIT) to inquire into the cases of 1984 riots.
In a statement e-mailed to the media on Friday, Phoolka sought to remind Badal that the union home minister is empowered to constitute an SIT to reopen and re-investigate 237 cases of the 1984 riots which have been closed by the police and never sent for trial. But the home minister is not empowered to order the monitoring of SIT by the apex court, he pointed out.
"Why is Badal trying to complicate the issue? It appears either the chief minister has not been properly briefed or he is trying to mislead the public", added Phoolka.
He pointed out that the government is empowered to constitute SIT having officers from outside the Delhi Police force and if that is done it should be sufficient.
Demanding something which is not in the powers of the government amounts to delaying the whole issue, he observed while reminding the CM that the Kejriwal government had recommended constitution of SIT with officers from outside the Delhi Police force and the Lt Governor of Delhi is now required to issue a notification in this regard.
"As the (Delhi) government has already recommended the constitution of SIT, the union home minister can now immediately get the notification issued without any further delay", he added.
Pointing out that the BJP had supported the issue of punishment to the guilty of 1984 riots while it was in the opposition, Phoolka said that now since the party is in power, it must act and immediately constitute an SIT.