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Justice Dhingra Led 2-Member SIT to Probe Anti-Sikh Riot Cases, SC Drops Plans of 3rd Member

Speaking to News18, Justice SN Dhingra said that the decision to reopen the cases would depend on the evidence available.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:December 4, 2018, 3:18 PM IST
Justice Dhingra Led 2-Member SIT to Probe Anti-Sikh Riot Cases, SC Drops Plans of 3rd Member
The Supreme Court of India. (News18 Creative)

New Delhi: After a delay of nearly 11 months, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday cancelled the process of notifying a third member in the Special Investigation Team headed by Justice SN Dhingra and has now mandated a time period of two months for the report.

Speaking to News18, Justice SN Dhingra said that the decision to reopen the cases would depend on the evidence available.

“I have studied all the files. My effort is to submit the report within the time limit. Also, I need to specify whether these 186 cases need to be reopened or not,” Justice Dhingra said.

On November 14, a delegation comprising former army chief JJ Singh, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi and three other prominent persons met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to ask the Supreme Court to notify the name of a third member of the SIT formed to supervise probe into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots so that work is not delayed any further.

Besides Lekhi and Singh, the other members of the delegation included Supreme Court senior advocate Rupinder S Suri, Rajasthan additional advocate general Gurcharan S Gill and former MLA RP Singh.

"We, the concerned citizens are making this fervent appeal to you for your urgent intervention as the things have indeed come to a very sorry pass," a letter signed by Lekhi, Singh, Suri and Gill had said.

In January this year, the Supreme Court had set up a three-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice SN Dhingra to supervise further probe into 186 anti-Sikh riots cases.

Besides Justice Dhingra, serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular and retired IG rank officer Rajdeep Singh were to be a part of the SIT, which has been asked by a bench headed by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra to submit its status report in two months.

Speaking to News18, Justice Dhingra said that cases are only closed when sufficient evidence is not found to support the case and that's what the probe would look into now.

"Generally cases are closed when sufficient evidence is not there or was not found. Now, I have to go through all the files individually to see what the report of the earlier SIT was. It has to be seen now whether the effort was made or evidence was actually not there. This is what needs to be done," said the former Delhi High Court judge.

Large-scale riots had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

On August 16 last year, the apex court had appointed the supervisory panel to examine the SIT's decision to close 241 cases in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots matter.

The Centre had said that out of 250 riots cases which were probed by the SIT, closure reports were filed in 241. It had said nine cases were still being investigated by the SIT and two being probed by the CBI.

However, Justice Dhingra said that he would now examine who all the witnesses were in each of the 186 cases to make sure "he does not commit the same thing again."

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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