1984 riots case: Delhi Lieutenant Governor gives nod to file appeal

After the Delhi High Court turned down an appeal against 12 accused, who were acquitted by a trial court in a murder case relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi VK Saxena on Saturday gave approval to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The High Court had dismissed an appeal on August 9. The appeal was against a trial court verdict on April 29, 1995, acquitting the 12 murder accused in the case.

The case pertains to the killing of eight persons at Nangloi, West Delhi, in the riots that broke out on October 31, 1984, in the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards.

An official at Raj Niwas said the L-G approved the proposal of the Home Department for filing the Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court after the HC dismissed the appeal.

Dismissing the appeal, the HC said there was no explanation for the “inordinate delay” of 27 years in filing an appeal against the trial court verdict. The appeal in the HC was filed on the basis of a report of the Special Investigation Team set up after the Supreme Court’s order in January 2018.

The SIT submitted its report in April 2019 and listed the case as a ‘fit case’ where the prosecution should have appealed immediately after the trial court’s judgement in 1995 and also recommended an appeal.

After the HC dismissed the appeal, the standing counsel of Delhi, in a letter in September, opined that the case was fit to file an SLP before the SC as there is delay of only 274 days and not of 27 years as observed by the HC.

“The delay ought to be calculated from the date of report submitted by the SIT rather than being calculated from the trial court judgment,” the official added.

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 VedPrakash.

The victims were Avtar Singh, Jagir Singh, Darshan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Baldev Singh, Sharvan Singh, Balwinder Singh and Harcharan Singh.

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