SAD welcomes new SIT for anti-Sikh riot cases

1984 riots SC orders re-investigation of 186 cases

The Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a fresh Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a retired High Court Judge to further investigate 186 anti-Sikh riot cases closed by an earlier SIT.

The riots broke out on November 1, 1984, after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. Regard being had to the nature of the case, we think it appropriate that a fresh SIT should be constituted for carrying on the further investigation.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar passed the order in a plea seeking reopening and re-investigating the anti-sikh riots cases.

The apex court said the supervisory body, appointed by it has found that out of 241 cases, 186 cases were closed without investigation. He had argued that neither has the probe been completed by an earlier probe team in any of these cases, nor any charge sheet filed. Over 3,000 people were killed during the riots. The SIT will submit its report directly to the apex court.

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The apex court took this view after getting a report on the SIT investigation into the 1984 Sikh riot cases from two retired SC judges.

In 2014, the government set up a committee to examine the possibility of constitution of a SIT for re-investigating the riot cases.

It had said that nine cases were still being investigated by the SIT, while two were being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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 made a decision to close 199 of them after scrutiny.