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1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Case: Delhi L-G gives nod to file appeal in SC against HC order acquitting 6

New Delhi, Nov 25, 2023- Delhi L-G V.K. Saxena on Saturday gave a nod to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgment acquitting six accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and slammed the Prosecution Department of the Delhi government for the delay in the matter.

According to Raj Bhavan officials, the case pertains to attempt to murder, looting and rioting during the riots in Saraswati Vihar Police Station (now Subhash Place) area in North West Delhi, involving six accused namely HariLal, Mangal, Dharampal, Azad, Om Prakash and Abdul Habib. The officials said that the L-G approved the proposal of the Home Department, Delhi government for filing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the top court against the July 10 judgment of the High Court, which dismissed the government’s appeal against the trial court verdict acquitting all the accused.

The High Court had said that there was no explanation for inordinate delay of 28 years in filing the appeal against the trial court verdict of March 28, 1995 and grounds taken by the state were not justifiable.

In a similar case, the L-G had earlier accorded approval for filing SLP in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of 12 persons in another anti-Sikh riots case registered at Nangloi Police Station.

The official pointed out that after going through the chronology of litigation in the present case, the L-G noted that though approval for filing appeal before the Delhi High Court was accorded in December 2020, the appeal was filed in 2023, after a delay of more than two years.

“Saxena observed that it is a matter of grave concern that such cases of crime against humanity, are dealt with in a very casual and routine manner, leading to inordinate delay in filing appeal. He said inordinate or avoidable delays in such cases, should be viewed seriously and stringent action needs to be taken against the delinquent officers or officials,” the official said.

The official said that the L-G directed the Home Department of the Delhi government to “identify and fix responsibility” of erring official responsible for causing delay in filing appeal before Delhi High Court in this case, and submit the report positively within seven days.

While seeking the L-G’s nod for filing the SLP, it was pointed out that the Supreme Court vide order dated January 11, 2018 directed to constitute SIT for further investigation in respect of 186 cases related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the instant case was a part of these 186 cases.

“In compliance of this order, a Special Investigation Team, comprising Justice (Retd.) S.N. Dhingra and Abhishek, an IPS officer, was constituted to examine the matter related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases vide notification dated February 9, 2018. The official said that the SIT had submitted its report on April 15, 2019 saying that the present case was a fit case where prosecution should have gone in appeal immediately after the judgment.

“The SIT further recommended that an appeal with an application of condonation of delay may be filed. Consequent upon the approval of the L-G in December 2020 for filing of appeal in this case in the High Court, the appeal was filed in 2023.

“The reasons for delay of more than two years after the approval of LG for filing of the appeal in this case was not elucidated,” the official added. (Agency)

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