Re-trial In 5 1984 Riots Cases After SIT Quiz Cong’s Sajjan Kumar

The bench issued show cause notices to all the accused asking why the case against them should not be re-tried.

The Delhi High Court ordered re-trial in five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in which all of the accused were acquitted in 1986.

A bench of Justices Gita Mittal and Anu Malhotra also issued show cause notices to all the accused asking why the case against them should not be re-tried.

The suo motu directions to reopen the cases were issued after perusing the trial court records regarding the acquittal in those cases.

The trial court records were placed before the high court by the CBI during hearing of a 1984 riot case in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was challenged by the agency.

On 3 March, Kumar was called for questioning by the Home Ministry-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is re-examining the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. He was also called in January after being summoned as an accused.

While going through the records, the bench observed that neither the witnesses nor the complainant were examined properly by the trial courts and the matter was decided in a "hurry".

It noted that in some cases complainants were not issued summons and in the rest, the summons were sent to the addresses where houses were burnt during riots and therefore, could not be served.

The HC also directed the Delhi Police to investigate the matter and fixed the matter for 20 April, asking the complainants to appear before the court and issued notice to various accused, including ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, former MLA Mahender Yadav and Ved Prakash.

The 1984 riots that broke out in the aftermath of the then PM Indira Gandhi’s death led to killing of nearly 3,000 Sikh men, women and children, mainly in Delhi.

(With PTI inputs)