SIT probe into 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases complete: Centre tell SC

anti-Sikh riots, 1984 riots, Indira Gandhi
Large-scale riots had broken out in Delhi after then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984 | PTI File

The Supreme Court was on Friday (November 29) told that the special investigation team (SIT), which was set up on January 11 last year to supervise the investigation into 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has completed its probe.

During a hearing on Friday, the central government placed the final report of the SIT, which was led by former Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra, in sealed cover before a bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.

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The Centre has also sought the top court’s approval for disbanding the SIT, which also comprised retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving 2006 batch IPS officer Abhishek Dular. The SIT now has only two members as Singh had declined to be a part of the team on “personal grounds”.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the bench that since the SIT has done its work and submitted its final report, the team should be discharged now. Anand said the SIT’s report has been filed in a sealed cover and it should not be shared with the petitioner at this stage.

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Senior advocate HS Phoolka, representing the riot victims, told the bench that the court should first examine the SITs final report and see if anything more was required to be done by the team before taking a decision on whether to disband it. The bench has taken on record the SIT’s report and adjourned the case for two weeks.

Earlier in March, the top court had granted two more months to the SIT to complete its probe into 186 riot cases after the SIT informed it that more than 50% of work was done and it wanted two more months to complete the investigation.

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Large-scale riots had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

Former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar was last December convicted by the Delhi High Court for his role in the riots and sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal is pending in the apex court.

(With inputs from agencies)