Just five months after examining the justification for closing 241 anti-Sikh riot cases, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered re-investigation into 186 cases, closed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

In the unprecedented move, the apex court has decided to set up a three-member committee, headed by a retired High Court judge to re-examine the 186 cases. The SIT will submit its report directly to the apex court.

The decision was taken by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The Court will pass a formal order soon.

In February 2015, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to reinvestigate criminal cases filed in Delhi in relation to the 1984 Sikh massacre.

Over two years and three term extensions later, the SIT finally stated in 2017 that it had closed 241 cases and filed charges in just 12 cases.

In August, the Supreme Court set up a panel comprising two former judges to examine the SIT’s decisions to close cases.

The 33rd anniversary of the 1984 carnage against the Sikh community following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards was observed on October 31, 2017.

Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed in Delhi and other places in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984. Congress leaders and activists were accused of targeting Sikhs during the riots.