The Delhi High Court on Friday acquitted three accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case at Shastri Nagar in North Delhi, saying there were discrepancies galore in the evidence of prosecution witnesses.

The riots broke out in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

A Division Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Justice Ajit Bharihoke acquitted Bhagat Singh, Mangal Sain and Brij Mohan Verma on their separate appeals against their conviction by the lower court.

The Sarai Rohilla police had lodged a case against the accused on a direction by a committee after consideration of the affidavits filed by the riot victims.

The police had booked them under Sections 395 (dacoity) 435 (mischief by fire or explosive) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

The prosecution case hinged on the accounts of four witnesses — Manohar Singh, Jagmohan Singh, Baljit Kaur (wife of Jagmohan Singh) and Gurender Singh.

Mr. Jagmohan Singh and Mr. Gurender Singh claimed that they were injured in the riot.

However, Mr. Manohar Singh and Ms. Baljit Kaur turned hostile during the trial and the other two witnesses failed to give coherent details of the incident.

The prosecution also failed to produce medical evidence of the injuries sustained by the victims. Another lapse, the court noted, was non-inclusion of independent eyewitnesses. Mr. Jagmohan Singh's wife even contradicted the claim of her husband that he was present at his house on the date of incident and the rioters had beaten him with lathis.

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