In Dhingra report on anti-Sikh riots, a judge who acquitted all accused
The special team’s report, which has not been made public, is reported to have criticised the state machinery for its handling of the riots and the criminal cases that had been filed by victims.Updated: Jan 15, 2020 13:16 IST
The government will implement the recommendations of the Justice SN Dhingra-led special team that re-examined nearly 190 criminal cases connected to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assasination of prime minister Indira Gandhi, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Justice Dhingra, a retired high court judge, had handed over the special investigation team, or SIT’s findings to the Supreme Court in November last year. The special team had been set up in January 2018 by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on a petition filed by a riot victim.
The special team’s report, which has not been made public, is reported to have criticised the state machinery for its handling of the riots and the criminal cases that had been filed by victims.
Justice Dhingra has shortlisted 10 FIRs where he felt the government should file an appeal against the trial court’s verdict.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court that the government had accepted the recommendations and would take action. But it would not be an easy task.
After the Centre conveyed its decision to the Supreme Court, Justice Dhingra told news channel Times Now that it would also depend on the court of appeal whether it would condone the long delay in filing appeals.
Justice Dhingra’s report is also reported to be sharply critical of the police who didn’t do their job. In one case, he told the news channel, the Station House Officer or police station incharge had aided the rioters. He disarmed Sikhs and encouraged the other side to attack, he said.
Justice Dhingra also named SS Bal, the judge who was exclusively mandated to try all riots cases in Delhi from 1989 to 1995. “He acquitted all accused in all the riots cases that he decided,” he told the news channel.
“You can understand how many cases he must have tried,” he said.
Large-scale riots had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.