Delhi HC notice to CBI on reopening anti-Sikh riot cases

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New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the CBI in five cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, wherein the court had earlier indicated that it was inclined to re-opening the trial.

Seeking the response from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra also issued production warrant for former councillor Balwan Singh Khokkar, one of the accused in three of these cases and currently lodged in the Tihar Central Jail here.

“There was nothing before the Sessions Court… The court had acquitted the accused after giving short date… this is what has caused us concern. There is no investigation at all. Trial was not properly conducted,” the bench said, adding that the Delhi Police did not carry out proper investigation in these cases.

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The court said: “One of the eyewitnesses has surfaced. The person has elaborated on how the person was kept out of trial.”

As earlier show-cause notices were not served on the accused, the bench on Thursday issued fresh notice to the accused, including former legislator Mahender Singh Yadav, as to why reinvestigation and retrial against them should not be ordered.

On March 29, the High Court issued the show-cause notices to the accused in five cases, asking them why the cases against them should not be re-opened.

The court had termed the acquittal of all the accused by a trial court here in 1986 as “shocking our judicial conscience”.

The court took suo motu cognizance of the five cases, observing that key eyewitnesses were not examined and cases were closed “very rapidly” without proper investigation and trial.

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The bench passed this order after taking note of the trial court judgments of 1986 in the five cases. Interestingly, the five cases came to the knowledge of the court after they were cited by the appellants to buttress their arguments.

The trial court records were placed before the High Court by the CBI during the hearing of another 1984 riots case, in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been challenged by the agency.

These complaints related to killing of Sikh men and destruction of their properties during the riots which erupted in the Raj Nagar area of Palam Colony in Delhi Cantt in November 1984 after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Khokhar was tried in three cases, whereas Mahender Singh Yadav was accused in two cases.

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The other accused are Ram Kumar, Dhanraj, Vidyanand, Dhanpat, Ved Parkash, Shiv Charan and Ramji Lal Sharma.



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