New Delhi, 2 September(Wishav Warta): The Supreme Court has asked two of its retired judges-Justice J M Panchal and Justice K S P Radhakrishnan – to examine 241 anti-Sikh riots cases and file a report whether they were rightly closed by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to ensure that no accused got off scot-free.
A three-member SIT, headed by IPS officer Pramod Asthana, was constituted by the Centre in February 2015 and was given the task to reopen all 1984 riots cases which were closed by the Delhi Police for lack of sufficient evidence. The SIT, after examining all available material, recommended closure of 241-odd cases and it is still examining nine cases. But a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar decided to get the cases re-examined by its retired judges.
The court appointed the “supervisory body ” of its former judges to go through all the documents and the closure reports filed by SIT and file a report within three months on whether there was any prosecutable evidence in those cases. “We constitute a supervisory body of two former judges of this court, namely, Justice J M Panchal and Justice K S P Radhakrishnan, who shall scrutinise the matters which have been closed and express the view whether there was justification to close the cases. The supervisory body is requested to file a report within three months. The said supervisory body shall be given requisite assistance, which the Centre shall provide. The supervisory body shall start functioning from September 5, 2017,” the court said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by S Gurlad Singh Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, seeking its direction for an independent probe in all anti-Sikh riots cases in Delhi alleging that free and fair investigation was not done by police.