NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today issued a notice on a plea seeking reliefs including setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to ensure speedy justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
"Issue notice. Counter affidavit on behalf of respondent No.1 (Centre) and 2 has already been filed...Rejoinder affidavit, if any, be filed within four weeks thereafter," a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and D Y Chandrachud said.
It asked senior advocate Arvind Datar, representing S Gurlad Singh Kahlon who has filed the PIL on the issue, to file a rejoinder affidavit and fixed the case for final hearing. Kahlon, a member of Delhi Gurudwara Management Committee, had sought the court's directions for the setting up of the SIT to ensure speedy justice to the riots victims.
He had also sought a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to complete the task within six months and give reports on the progress of investigation in all criminal cases relating to the massacre from time to time till the filing of charge sheets. The apex court had earlier asked the Centre to file a status report on the SIT probe into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
The petitioner said the SIT was formed by the government on February 12, 2015 for fresh probe into the 1984 riot cases and had got an extension for a year. However, there was inordinate delay in prosecution of the cases and further delay would prejudice the trial, he had pleaded. The MHA had set up a three-member SIT for re- investigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, mainly in Delhi and other states.
It was to look into all serious criminal cases relating to the riots, examine evidence and even re-open cases and file charge sheets in concerned courts.
The SIT is headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch and has Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge and Kumar Gyanesh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi Police as members. Anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.