M A I N   N E W S

No action to be taken against Tytler, says govt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
Despite the hue and cry in different sections of society on the Nanavati Commission Report and the ATR, the Centre today defended its decision not to go ahead with the prosecution of Union Minister Jagdish Tytler on “mere probability” of his involvement.

The government also indicated that there would be no further inquiry or commission on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The Centre did not go ahead with the prosecution of Tytler as recommended by the Nanavati Commission because it cannot proceed on “mere probability” as was held by the Supreme Court, Special Secretary (Union Territories) in Home Ministry K P Singh told reporters.

He said the Commission did not give any specific recommendations and the government had to cull out 10 specific recommendations after going through the details of the incidents given in the report and the government has accepted nine of them and only in the case of Tytler, it was “decided that it cannot proceed on mere probability.”

Asked why the government did not go ahead with the prosecution of Tytler, the Special Secretary said: “The Supreme Court is very clear about the law on probabilities. We cannot go ahead and prosecute anyone only on the basis of probability.”

In his (Tytler’s) case, the Commission itself was not absolutely sure of his involvement. The Commission says that “very probably” he had a hand, he said, adding “the incident mentioned in this regard has been investigated and tried in a Court of law.

“Out of 45 persons who were accused in two separate cases relating to this incident, 13 were convicted and the remaining were acquitted,” he said and added Tytler was not an accused in this case for want of evidence.

The government had, therefore, decided that any further enquiry or investigation in this regard will not be justified, he said.

In the case of Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, he said the Commission has recommended examination of seven FIRs. “The government examined them and found that two of the seven did not relate to 1984 riots. In respect of four other FIRs, all the papers connected with the investigation were examined and it was concluded that there was no justification to re-open these four FIRs,” he said. In respect of one FIR, it has been decided to further look into the affidavit of one Surender Singh and take further necessary action, he said.

He said the Commission has recommended that such riots should be kept under check and control and that police should function independently and that all complaints should be registered and investigated by independent agencies. “Government has accepted this recommendation and will be advising states and Union territories separately,” he said.

About the passive role of the police, he said the Commission had recommended departmental action against 10 police personnel, five out of which had already retired.

“In the case of the remaining five, it is seen that departmental enquiries were initiated against them in the past but the charges could not be proved,” he said and added that the government had decided to examine this matter further in consultation with the Ministry of Law.

He also denied reports that the Home Ministry had tampered with the Nanavati Commission report and made it clear that no other Commission would be constituted to probe the 1984 riots.

“How many Commissions are needed to go again and again into this? Somewhere an end has to be put?” he said.


Govt puts up brave face, defends police officers
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
Apart from defending the union minister Jagdish Tytler and the Congress MP Sajjan Kumar for their alleged role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots, to government today put a brave face while defending the guilty police officials, who have been strongly indicted by the Nanavati Commission report for dereliction of their role during riots. The Commission has recommended action against them.

The commission has strongly indicted the then police commissioner, S.C. Tandon Lt. Governor P.G. Gavai and lower rank police officials for dereliction of their duty that resulted in pogrom of more than 3000 Sikhs, looting of property worth hundreds of crores and injury to innumerable number of persons.

In the Action Taken Report presented in both the Houses of the Parliament on Justice Nanavati Commission of Inquiry, set up in May 2000 to inquire in to matters connected with 1984 riots, Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil said, “The government has noted with concern the conduct of the police officials mentioned by the Commission. However, since these officials have retired from service, there are legal difficulties in initiating any departmental proceedings at this point of time.”

Defending the role of police officials, government’s ATR said, “Disciplinary action under the CCS (CC&A) Rules, 1965 can be taken only against a serving government servant. Further, action under Pension Rules is possible only in respect of an event which took place within four years before institution of the proceedings.”

However, to wriggle out of the any accusation of defending the guilty officials, the ATR said :”Government would examine this matter in consultation with the Ministry of Law for appropriate action.”

Reacting on government’s response former Chemical and Fertilizers Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said, “ It is the saddest day of our life. Congress government is shamelessly defending the guilty police officials saying that action cannot be taken against them for brutally murdering innocent Sikh children, raping women and killing youth.”

Regarding consultation with the Law Ministry, the Opposition leaders wondered what was government doing for the past six months as the Commission had submitted its report on February 9 this year.

The Commission observed that “ Dr Chander Prakash, DCP South District at that time, O.P. Yadav, SHO, Srinivaspuri, Rohtas Singh SHO, Delhi Cantt, Ram Phal, SHO, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Ved Prakash SI, Srinivaspuri, Shakti Singh, Head Constable of Jangpura Police post and Mahinder Singh of police station Sriniwaspuri, SI Hoshiar Singh, and SI Mange Ram had not performed their duties properly.”

Justice Nanavati recommended that government should consider even now if any action can be taken against them. He noted, “ If all the relevant material is taken into consideration there can be no doubt in the mind of any reasonable person that they and other police officers and the policemen in charge of areas where these incidents had happened “were negligent in performance of their duties.”

Indicting the then Police Commissioner S.C. Tandon for dereliction of duty, the commission said, “ there was a colossal failure of maintenance of law and order and as the head of the police force, he has to be held responsible for the failure.”

The report further added, “The course of events do disclose that the attitude of the police force was callous and that he did not remain properly informed about what was happening in the city.”

What is government’s response? Government has taken serious note of the observations of the Commission and would take necessary action to ensure “ better leadership qualities among senior police officials.”

As regards any action against Mr Tandon, the ATR said,” He was replaced on November 12, 1984 and he has since retired. As mentioned earlier, there are legal difficulties in taking departmental action …….”

Recommending uniform compensation to the affected families, the commission said, “ It appears that in some states the High Courts have directed payment of higher compensation of Rs 3.50 lakh for the loss of life to the dependents… But in some states smaller amounts have been paid.

The Commission recommended uniform compensation and “providing employment to one member of that family if that family has lost all its earning male members and it has no other sufficient means of livelihood.” On this government has assured action.


Government ready to discuss report
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 8
The government today said it was ready to discuss the Nanavati report during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri informed the Rajya Sabha that the government was prepared for a discussion on the report of the Nanavati Commission and the accompanying Action Taken report on any day stipulated by the Business Advisory Committee.

Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal members demanded that the House discuss the report and the ATR.

Soon after Minister of State for Home S Regupathy tabled the Nanavati Commission Report and the ATR, the BJP and the SAD members were on their feet raising slogans and demanding a discussion. BJP member S S Ahluwalia said “justice has not been done to the victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.”

Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh demanded that the Chair should direct the government to have a discussion on it in the current session itself. Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat sought a reply from Mr Pachouri, who responded by saying that the government was ready for a discussion. In the Lok Sabha, noisy scenes were witnessed in the post-lunch session as Akali Dal MPs trooped into the well of the House, demanding action against those “named” in the Nanavati Commission Report.

As soon as the House reassembled after the lunch break, Akali Dal MPs, led by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, showed copies of the Nanavati Commission Report shouting slogans like “we want justice.” They also raised slogans against union Minister Jagdish Tytler. When the noisy scenes persisted, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal adjourned the House till 3 pm.

The report of the commission was tabled in the House earlier in the day by Home Minister Shivraj Patil. The report was tabled along with the Action Taken Report on the last day of the expiry of the six-month deadline for its presentation in Parliament.

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