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1984 anti-Sikh riots probe: Centre files status report in SC

PTI | New Delhi |

The Centre on Monday filed in the Supreme Court a status report on the investigation conducted by a special investigation team (SIT) into 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

The report was filed before a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra which took it on record.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, has fixed the matter for hearing on March 6.

The report was filed in pursuance to the January 16 direction of the apex court which had asked the Centre to file a "comprehensive report" on the status of the probe conducted by the SIT on a plea seeking a court-supervised investigation.

The court had also asked the Centre to apprise it about the steps taken in the matter within four weeks after the government had said that the SIT's work is "in progress".

Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon had argued that extension of the tenure to the SIT was given earlier and its term was going to expire on February 17.

The Centre, in its counter affidavit filed earlier, had said there has been a "considerable progress" in the SIT probe and 218 cases were at various staged of scrutiny and a "decision has been taken for re-investigation in respect of 22 cases".

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

He had also sought a direction to the Home Ministry to complete the task within six months and give reports on the progress of the probe in all criminal cases relating to the massacre from time to time till the filing of charge sheets.

The petitioner has said the SIT was formed by the Centre on February 12, 2015 for a fresh probe into the 1984 riots cases and got an extension for a year.

The Home Ministry had set up a three-member SIT for re- investigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, mainly in Delhi and other states.

It was to look into all serious criminal cases relating to the riots, examine evidence and even reopen cases and file charge sheets in courts concerned.

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

Anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.