The lieutenant governor of Delhi has given his nod to the prosecution for filing a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order acquitting 12 people accused of murder in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Raj Niwas officials said on Saturday.
The LG has given his approval to the home department’s proposal for filing the SLP in the apex court against the August 9 order of the high court dismissing an appeal against the trial court verdict acquitting all the accused, they added.
“LG V K Saxena has given a go ahead to the prosecution to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court judgment acquitting 12 murder accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, in which eight people were killed and one was injured in the Nangloi area of West Delhi,” an official said.
The high court said there was no explanation for the inordinate delay of 27 years in filing the appeal against the trial court verdict of April 29, 1995 and that the grounds taken by the State were not justifiable.
Saxena perused the file concerning the proposal to move the SLP. The file stated that the high court had not taken into consideration the merits of the case and instead, dismissed the State’s appeal only on the ground of the inordinate delay in filing it, the official said.
In an order in January, the Supreme Court directed the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) for further investigation in respect of 186 cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, including the instant case.
An SIT, comprising Justice S N Dhingra (retired) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Abhishek, was formed. It submitted its report in April 2019, stating that in the instant case, the prosecution should have gone in appeal immediately after the judgment. Further, it had recommended that an appeal with an application for condonation of delay might be filed.
According to the additional public prosecutor (APP), the case involves a crime against the humanity and the observations of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in a similar matter relating to mass killing of Bangladeshi citizens in 1971 by sympathisers of Pakistan are relevant.
The 12 accused in the case are—Maikale Ram, Ramesh Chandra Sharma, Bishan Datt Sharma, Des Raj Goel, Anar Singh, Jagdish Prasad Sharma, Mahavir Singh, Balkishan, Dharampal, Om Pal Chauhan, Gyan Prakash and Ved Prakash.
Those killed were Avtar Singh, Jagir Singh, Darshan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Baldev Singh, Sharvan Singh, Balwinder Singh and Harcharan Singh. Another man—Dharmendra Singh—was injured.
After the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, incidents of rioting, looting and killing of Sikhs were reported in Delhi between October 31 and November 3, 1984 and one such incident took place in the morning of November 1 at Amar Colony, Nangloi where the accused, along with their associates, allegedly killed the eight men.
After the incident, the relatives of the deceased appeared before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission of Inquiry and submitted their affidavits, on the basis of which an FIR was registered.