1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court appoints panel to examine over 235 cases

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a panel comprising of two retired judges to examine more than 235 cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The top court said the panel would supervise whether the cases in which the closure report had been filed was correct or not and asked to review all the cases and submit a report within three months.

The apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra passed this verdict while hearing the plea filed by Gurlad Singh Kahlon. Earlier on August 2, the court had directed petitioner Kahlon to file his suggestions in connection with the riot cases.

Kahlon had sought the court’s direction for setting up of the SIT to ensure speedy justice to the riot victims. Earlier, the apex court directed the Centre to deposit more than 190 files in connection with this case.

Expressing serious concern over the closure of more than 190 cases, out of a total of the 293 cases referred to SIT on 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, the court asked the Union of India to produce on record on April 25 all the files related to closure of these cases by SIT.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that the SIT in as many as 263 cases had no case files and there was no trace of any victim or witness. On February 20, the Centre filed a status report in the top court on the investigation conducted by the SIT into anti-Sikh riots cases.

The court had asked the government to brief it within four weeks on the steps taken in the matter, after the Centre had said that the SIT’s work was “in progress”. Anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone.

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