SC seeks probe status in anti-Sikh riots cases

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a report on the status of a probe by a Special Investigation Team into certain cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015, to examine afresh the cases closed by police for alleged lack of sufficient evidence.

An apex court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi asked Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand to apprise it of the progress in two weeks.

Senior counsel Rupinder Singh Suri, appearing for petitioner Gurlad Singh Kahlon, told the court that the SIT was given six months to do its job but given an extension of one year on August 12, 2015.

Suri said after a lapse of more than three decades since the riots, neither victims nor witnesses were available in many cases. Even police officials who investigated were not available.

The bench reacted by asking if things were expected to be done in six months after the lapse of three decades.

Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, contended that since there was already a delay in taking these cases to their logical conclusion and launching prosecution, any further delay would prejudice a fair trial.

The petitioner contended that due to shoddy investigation, inordinate delay in recording of statements and lack of will had denied justice to 3,000 victims of the 1984 riots.

He said the riots claimed the lives of 2,733 innocent Sikhs in the national capital region alone.

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