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S.C. Slams Government for Withdrawing Sikh Massacre Case


Press Trust of India, New Delhi, Dec. 7, 2003

Taking strong exception to a Delhi Police decision to withdraw a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, the Supreme Court has lambasted the Centre saying on one hand it was appointing commission after commission to go into the riots and on the other it was trying to withdraw cases. 'What is this - on one hand you go on appointing commission after commission to probe the riots and on the other you withdraw the case registered by police,' a bench, comprising Justice S. Rajendra Babu and Justice G.P. Mathur, said on Friday dismissing an appeal filed by Delhi Police Commissioner.

The appeal was filed challenging a Delhi High Court order which had set aside a trial court order allowing prosecution to close an anti-Sikh riot case in which it was alleged that supporters of Congress leader Harcharan Singh Josh had allegedly fired [a gun] in the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [i.e. during the Sikh massacres] resulting in the death of a person. The police, which came [i.e. falls] under the control of the Union Home Ministry, contended that a high-level committee headed by the Home Secretary had taken a decision in 1989 to withdraw certain cases. It was contended before the apex court that it would help [with] maintaining the communal amity in the city and such cases which were old and [for which] no substantial evidence was available on record should be withdrawn.