Several aspects of the Delhi Police’s conduct during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and investigation of the cases after the riots, were severely criticised by the Sessions court that convicted five men and acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for the murder of five Sikh men in Raj Nagar in the Delhi Cantonment area.

The clubbing of all the complaints of murder and rioting into one omnibus FIR (416/84) by the police was castigated.

“It was rather unfortunate, as has been contented and argued by the Special Public Prosecutor (R. S. Cheema) that where killings were taking place by a rioting mob in Raj Nagar, each and every incident of killing ought to have been registered as a criminal case by the police and it was completely unfair on the part of police of PS Delhi Cantonment to have clubbed all subsequent complaints to be investigated as a part of FIR 416/84.”

The court said this practice of clubbing incidents of killing and other offences committed by accused persons at different places and at different times “was unknown in a procedure of law and it reflected inaction on the part of law enforcing agency”. The court said this reflected the condition of the State machinery “coming to a complete standstill” and the acts of rioting mobs went “unchecked and unresisted” by the law enforcing agency.

“From the evidence and material available in this case it does appear…that law supervising and enforcing machinery, police, maintained complete silence during those two days November 1 and 2, 1984… It has been rightly argued by Public Prosecutor that police appeared to be privy in the incidents of rioting, maybe by maintaining their status as silent spectator.”