Anti-Sikh riots: Centre for former DG NR Wasan as member of new SIT, moves Supreme Court

The Centre moved the Supreme Court requesting it to include former DG-rank officer Navneet Rajan Wasan in a new three-member SIT formed by it to supervise the further probe.

Published: 05th February 2018 11:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2018 11:35 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court of India (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: The Centre today moved the Supreme Court requesting it to include former DG-rank officer Navneet Rajan Wasan in a new three-member SIT formed by it to supervise further probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases.

The government sought replacement of retired IG-rank officer Rajdeep Singh, who is currently one of the SIT members, by Wasan, who had earlier served as Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud posted the plea, which sought a modification of its January 11 order, for hearing after a week.

Wasan, now retired, was a 1980-batch Andhra Pradesh cadre officer and had also served as Special Director General in the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

On January 11, the apex court had constituted a threemember SIT headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra to supervise further probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases, in which closure reports were filed earlier.

Besides Justice Dhingra, the apex court had named Abhishek Dular, a serving 2006-batch IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre, and retired IG-rank officer Rajdeep Singh, as members of the new SIT.

The apex court has asked the new panel to submit its status report in two months.

The top court had zeroed in on the names after the Ministry of Home Affairs and counsel for petitioners G S Kahlon arrived at a consensus with regard to the persons who could be appointed in the fresh SIT.

The court had earlier held the previous SIT did not carry out further probe into these 186 cases in which closure reports were filed, and had directed setting up of a fresh SIT comprising a former HC judge and two police officers.

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.

Justice Dhingra, who had retired from Delhi High Court, had dealt with several high-profile cases including the 2001 Parliament Attack case as trial judge.

He was recently in the news for heading a one-man panel that probed Haryana land scam allegedly involving Robert Vadra, the son-in-law UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Justice Dhingra as the judge of the trial court had dealt with 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases and in about 16 cases, his judgement had resulted in conviction of accused persons.

Abhishek Dular, who served as Superintendent of Police in Shimla, is currently on central deputation with the CBI and has probed the sensational Bulandsahar highway gangrape case.

The apex court had said that on perusal of the report of supervisory committee, it had found that the earlier SIT has not done further investigation in respect of 186 cases.

It had said that with regard to the nature of cases, "it would be appropriate that a fresh SIT should be constituted for carrying on the further investigation".

The earlier supervisory body, which had submitted its final report, comprised former apex court judges Justice J M Panchal and Justice K S P Radhakrishnan.

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.

The apex court had on March 24, 2017, asked the Centre to place before it the files pertaining to the 199 anti-Sikh riots cases which the SIT set up earlier by the Home Ministry had decided to close.

The SIT was headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch, and had Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, an additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police, as its members.

Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon had earlier told the bench that a total of 293 riot-related cases were taken up for scrutiny by the earlier SIT which had decided to close 199 of them after scrutiny.

Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had sought the court's direction for setting up another SIT to ensure speedy justice to the riot victims.

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