NEW DELHI: In what could be further bad news for the Congress, the Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over the closure of 199 cases pertaining to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and directed the Centre to place all related files before it. The bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said it wanted to know the motive behind the decision to close the cases and directed the Centre to table the files within three weeks. The anti-Sikh pogrom happened when the Congress was in power.
“We intend to focus on these 199 cases in respect of which a decision has been taken by the SIT to close and not to launch any prosecution in these matters. We direct the Union of India to produce the files pertaining to these 199 cases within three weeks,” the bench said. Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing on behalf petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon, told the bench that a total of 293 riots related cases were taken up for scrutiny by the three-member SIT and it has decided to close 199 of them.
“SIT’s preliminary enquiry in 28 cases from 35 have been completed, while the rest seven were pending consideration. SIT had taken up 59 cases for further probe, out of which it has decided to close 42 after investigation. While charge sheets have been filed in four, 13 were under consideration,” the SIT stated.
Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi, appearing on behalf of the Centre, told the bench: “There was nothing opaque in the SIT’s functioning and as many as 62 cases are untraced.” The bench has slated the hearing for April 25. Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had sought the court’s direction for setting up an SIT to ensure speedy justice.