1984 anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court accepts SIT report

Photo shows a building destroyed by fire after the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 in Delhi.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Photo Archive

The Supreme Court on Friday took on record a confidential probe report filed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The SIT, chaired by former Delhi High Court judge S.N. Dhingra, was set up by the court in January last year to investigate these cases, which were closed by an earlier probe team.

On Friday, a three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, also repatriated one of the SIT members, Abhishek Dular, to the CBI, even as it posted the main petitions from the families of the victims for hearing after two weeks.

Along with Justice Dhingra and Mr. Dular, the third member of the SIT was Rajdeep Singh, a retired IPS officer.

Over 180 cases

At a hearing in January last year, the court decided to set up its own SIT, headed by a former High Court judge, to independently probe 186 cases.

A Bench, led by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, had reasoned in its order that “regard being had to the nature of the cases, we think it appropriate that a fresh SIT be constituted for carrying on further investigation”.

The court had wanted all the three members of the SIT to be based in the national capital.

The decision to form the new SIT was based on a confidential report placed on record on December 11, 2017, by a court-appointed supervisory committee of K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.M. Panchal, both former judges of the Supreme Court. This committee was tasked with vetting the investigation into 241 anti-Sikh riots cases closed by the government’s SIT.

These 186 cases are part of the 241 cases.

On August 16 last year, the Supreme Court decided to independently examine the investigation records of the 241 cases and confirm there was nothing more to do on them.

A total of 3,325 people were killed in the riots. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths and the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States. The government SIT was set up on February 12, 2015, on the recommendation of the Home Ministry-appointed panel, led by Justice G.P. Mathur (retired).

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:56:51 AM |

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