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Supreme Court takes on record the SIT Report in relation to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases

Supreme Court takes on record the SIT Report in relation to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases

The bench of Justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha took the Special Investigation Team's report on record on Thursday and adjourned the hearing in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases for two weeks.

Senior Advocate HS Phoolka referred to the November 29, 2019 SIT report. According to the SIT report, in FIR No. 433/84 PS Kalyanpuri, while the police sent a challan in respect of the murder of 56 people after clubbing various cases, the trial court framed charges only in respect of the murder of 5 people, and no change was made in respect of the remaining murders.

"A perusal of cases also shows that in FIR No 433/84 PS Kalyanpuri while police after clubbing various cases sent a challan in respect of murder of 56 persons, the trial court framed charges only in respect of killing of 5 persons and no charge was framed in respect of remaining murders…..It is not known why charges were framed only for 5 murders and not 56 murders and why trial court did not order separation of trial for each incident of crime. It is also seen from the perusal of the judgments found in these files that when the witnesses stated in the court that she had seen the incident and can identify the culprits, the public prosecutor did not even ask her to identify the rioters out of several accused persons present in the court."

The Union Government, in 2014, had set up a 3-member SIT, headed by IPS officer Pramod Asthana, to examine the possibility of reopening 293 cases related to the 1984 riots for investigation. The panel found that the investigation in 241 of these cases was fit to be closed. The petitioner challenged these findings in the top court. A bench led by then-CJI Dipak Misra agreed that the panel had not conducted a detailed probe in a large number of those cases and ordered the constitution of a new SIT. Thus, in January 2018, a 3-member SIT was reconstituted by the Supreme Court to examine 186 such cases.

Case Title: S. Gurlad Singh Kahlon vs. Union of India and Ors.

W. P. (Crl.) No. 9/2016


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