1984 riots: Delhi HC seeks govt response on convict’s plea
A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice I S Mehta issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the oral objection of Yashpal Singh, who was sentenced to death for killing two men during the anti-Sikh riots.Updated: Sep 27, 2019 22:30 IST
The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Centre over the legality and validity of an order of the Union ministry of the home affairs directing reinvestigation and investigation of closed cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice I S Mehta issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the oral objection of Yashpal Singh, who was sentenced to death for killing two men during the anti-Sikh riots.
Singh and co-accused Naresh Sherawat were convicted of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Mahipalpur area of south Delhi during the riots that followed the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. The police lodged a case on a complaint by the victim’s brother Santokh Singh. But in 1994, the police wanted to close the case citing lack of evidence. The case was reopened by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
On September 25, while hearing the appeal in the high court, Singh through his counsel, raised oral objections on the order of February 12, 2015 directing reinvestigation and investigation of the cases. His counsel said that the order of the Centre to constitute an SIT is illegal and the cases cannot be re-investigated once the closure report has been filed.
Taking note of this, the court said, “…..it is considered proper and necessary to issue notice to the Union of India through the secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India”.
The court directed the registry to provide a copy of the death sentence reference paper book to the counsel for the Centre on such submissions.
Reacting to this, CBI counsel Tarranum Cheema said that the Centre will file its reply but the order of February 2015 is correct since it says re-investigation.
“The Centre has been issued a notice but the order for formation of SIT is correct. Also in Yashpal’s case, the case had not attained finality so there can be no challenge. Otherwise, the challenge to the constitution of the SIT is pending before the Supreme Court,” she said.
The matter would be now heard on September 30.
First Published: Sep 27, 2019 21:53 IST