New SIT to reopen probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases

The SC decided to set up its own three-member SIT to probe 186 cases which were not investigated by the Centre-appointed SIT.

Published: 10th January 2018 03:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2018 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court of India (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Thirty-four years after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to set up its own three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe 186 cases which were not investigated by the Centre-appointed SIT.

Besides coming as a relief to the victims of the riots, who have been awaiting justice for decades, the decision would have huge political ramifications in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the SIT, headed by a former high court judge, would have a former IPS officer — not below the rank of DIG at the time of superannuation — and a serving IPS officer, and should be in Delhi.

The decision to form the SIT was  made based on a report submitted by the supervisory committee of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J M Panchal last year. It was set up by the apex court. The report had said that investigations in 186 out of 241 cases were halted without a proper probe. The bench posted the matter for a formal order on Thursday after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand sought a day to suggest names for the fresh SIT.

The bench also asked senior advocate H S Phoolka, who was appearing for the petitioners, to suggest names for the SIT on Thursday.

On August 16 last year, the court decided to independently examine the investigation records of the 241 cases and confirm that there was nothing more to do on them.

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 three-member SIT and it had decided to close 199 of them after scrutiny. At least 12 inquiry commissions and committees have been set up over the last three decades to look into the 1984 killings.


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