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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 8:29 PM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 2:04 AM (IST)

'84 riots: New SIT fails to start work as member's position remains vacant

SIT headed by former Delhi HC judge SN Dhingra was to submit its report next month
'84 riots: New SIT fails to start work as member's position remains vacant
The SIT is to probe 186 cases closed by the police. — File photo

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12

A new SIT headed which was set up in January this year to further investigate 186 cases relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases in Delhi, has failed to start its work, the Supreme Court was informed on Thursday.

Counsel for the petitioner who has been instrumental in getting the order for a fresh SIT probe told a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra that a member's position was vacant in the SIT headed by former Delhi High Court judge SN Dhingra.

The SIT which is to probe 186 cases closed by the police, has yet to commence its work despite the court's order to submit its first report in August, the petitioner's counsel told the Bench.

CJI Misra said he was aware of the matter and he would soon look into it.

The Centre had on February 5 told the Supreme Court that ex-IPS officer Rajdeep Singh has refused to be a part of the new SIT and he would be replaced by former Indian Police Bureau Director General of Police NR Wasan. Serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular is the third member of the SIT.

Justice Dhingra was a trial judge when punishments were handed out in 1990s to the accused of the Trilokpuri massacre of 1984. Kishori Lal, dubbed as the 'butcher of Trilokpuri', was among those sentenced by him.

Almost 3,000 people were killed, most of them in Delhi, in the anti-Sikh riots that broke out following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

The Bench had in January noted that the previous SIT had not carried out further probe into these 186 cases in which closure reports were filed. It had taken the decision after perusing the report of a two-judge supervisory panel which scrutinised 241 cases relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi closed by an earlier SIT formed by the NDA government for re-investigation.

Submitted on December 6, the report of the supervisory committee comprising Justice JM Panchal and Justice KSP Radhakrishnan was perused by the court.

The court had already made it clear that it would not reopen cases in which accused had been acquitted.

It had assigned the task of examining the said 241 cases closed by SIT to the supervisory committee which was to make recommendations as to whether the cases were rightly closed or not.

More than two years after the Narendra Modi government set up the SIT to re-investigate serious anti-Sikh riots cases of 1984 that had been closed, it has managed to file charge sheets only in very small number of cases taken up for further probe.

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