Delhi LG gives nod to filing appeal in SC against acquittal of six accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

Delhi LG gives nod to filing appeal in SC against acquittal of six accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has given his approval for filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against a July 10 Delhi High Court order which acquitted six accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, officials said on Saturday.

Saxena also 'slammed' the prosecution department of the Delhi government for the alleged 'callous delay' in the matter, the officials of the LG's office said.

The LG directed the Home Department to identify and fix accountability of officials responsible for causing the delay and sought a report within seven days, they said.

The case pertains to looting and rioting during the anti-Sikh riots in the Saraswati Vihar police station (now Subhash Place) area in northwest Delhi, involving the six accused -- Hari Lal, Mangal, Dharampal, Azad, Om Prakash and Abdul Habib.

'The LG approved the proposal of the Home Department for filing a special leave petition in the apex court against the judgement of the High Court on July 10, 2023, in which it dismissed the government's appeal against the trial court verdict acquitting all the accused,' the officials said.

The High Court had said that there was no explanation for the 'inordinate delay' of 28 years in filing the appeal against the March 28, 1995 trial court verdict and the grounds taken by the state were 'not justifiable', they said.

In a similar case, Saxena had earlier granted his approval for filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of 12 people in another anti-Sikh riots case registered at Nangloi police station.

After going through the chronology of litigation in the present case, the LG noted that though the approval for filing an appeal before the Delhi High Court was accorded in December 2020, the appeal was filed in 2023, after a delay of more than two years, the officials said.

Saxena observed that it is a matter of 'grave concern' that such cases of 'crime against humanity' are dealt with in a 'very casual and routine manner', leading to an 'inordinate delay' in filing the appeal, they said.

He said 'inordinate delays' in such cases should be viewed seriously and stringent action should be taken against the delinquent officers.

In its order on January 11, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) for further investigation with respect to 186 cases related to the 1984 riots and the instant case was a part of these cases, officials said.

The SIT comprising Justice (retd) S N Dhingra and IPS officer Abhishek, was constituted to examine the matter related to the riots through a notification dated February 9, 2018.

The SIT submitted its report on April 15, 2019, saying that the present case was a fit case where the prosecution should have filed an appeal immediately after the judgement. It also recommended that an appeal with an application of condonation of the delay may be filed, the officials said. PTI VIT DIV DIV

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