New Delhi, March 27: Supreme Court said that it will re-examine all 199 cases related to 1984 Anti-Sikh riots which were recently closed by Special Investigation Team (SIT). However, it is a big blow for Congress as several leaders of it are accused of instigating riots after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
Notably, the bench led by Justice Dipak Misra on Friday also directed the Home Ministry to submit the files related to the 199 cases within three weeks. Central government’s lawyer Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi referred to a report prepared by the SIT, which said that a total of 293 cases were examined, of which 199 cases were closed due to lack of evidence.
Attorney General Rohatgi further added that 35 cases were advanced to the stage of a preliminary inquiry of which 28 were completed and seven were still pending. Additionally, 59 cases were sent for further investigation. Closure reports were filed in 42 cases and 13 remained pending.
Interestingly, Supreme Court ordered to re-examine all 199 closed cases after a petition filed by S Gurlad Singh Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). He sought SC in setting up of the SIT to ensure speedy justice to the victims of the Sikh riot. SC has also order Home Ministry to complete the investigation in six months and to provide timely reports about the conclusions.
Importantly, the Central government had constituted a committee headed by GP Mathur on December 23, 2014, and the panel on January 22, 2015, which later recommended setting up of SIT. On the basis of this recommendation, the central government set up the Special Investigation Team on February 12, 2015, comprising IPS officer Pramod Asthana as its chairman. Members of the SIT are ex-district judge Rakesh Kapoor and additional DCP Kumar Gyanesh.
Notably, the 1984 Sikh riots are considered to be one of the worst cases of communal violence after the partition in 1947. Over 2800 people across India, including 2100 in Delhi died during Sikh riots in 1984. The violence in Delhi was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, India's prime minister, on 31 October 1984, by two of her Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions authorizing the military operation.