The CBI and the Delhi Police on Monday agreed to appoint Special Public Prosecutors to handle the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases before the Delhi High Court, which directed the lower court to conclude the hearing of the cases within six months.
The investigating agency informed the court that senior advocates have been appointed as Public Prosecutors to handle the cases.
The agencies’ response came after the Delhi High Court pulled them up for treating the cases in an insensitive way and asked the CBI director to appoint senior advocates as special public prosecutors on the lines of Gujarat riots cases.
Advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for CBI, informed the High Court that senior advocate R. S. Cheema and Y. K. Saxena have been appointed to handle trial court cases while Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok will be handling ’84riots cases in the High Court.
It was also submitted that senior advocate B. S. Joon will be handling trial court cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riots while senior advocate H. J. S. Ahluwalia will be handling cases pending in the High Court.
The Gujarat Legal Department had last year appointed special public prosecutors for seven Gujarat riot cases.
Earlier, the High Court had said that the investigating agencies were treating the riots cases as routine cases.
The court made these observations while hearing a PIL filed by an NGO ‘November-84 Carnage Justice Committee’ seeking its direction to appoint special law officers and to monitor the cases on a day-to-day basis.
The court asked the agencies to respect the feeling of a particular community which bore the brunt of the riots following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
Over 2500 people were killed in the riots.
The High Court had on January 27 issued notice to the CBI and Delhi Police seeking their response after the NGO alleged that prosecuting agencies are in “collusion” with “influential” accused in these cases and trying to protect them.