Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Delhi HC to hear 35 Sikh riots cases on Wednesday

NEW DELHI: Thirty five cases from the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 are likely to be taken up by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, when it re-opens after the winter vacations.

It will be a rare instance that two of the Delhi High Court benches will be dealing with such a huge number of cases relating to the riots on the same day. This also includes appeals directed against former Union minister and Congress Party MP Sajjan Kumar (the CBI recently received sanction to prosecute him in a riot case), since he was acquitted by the trial court.

The investigating agency had sought sanction from the home ministry to prosecute Kumar under Section 253 of the IPC for his involvement in a riot case. Additional Solicitor General Amarjit Singh Chandhioke is going to be fielded by the CBI to argue its case against Kumar.

Interestingly, many of the cases coming up for hearing Wednesday are also going to be appeals filed by those convicted for their role in the arson and pillage during the three-day frenzy. Still others are revisions filed by the victims or their kin, challenging the acquittal or lighter punishment imposed on the accused.

For instance, in one of the cases, 107 persons had been arrested in 1984 by cops after they reached the scene of the carnage where 95 dead bodies were recovered from amidst burnt houses.

After a long-winding trial, a Delhi court convicted 93 of the accused for violating curfew orders, unlawful assembly, loot and arson in 1996. Since then, most of them filed their appeals before the HC, which have now come up for hearing.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka said he is hopeful that 25 years after the tragedy, justice for the victims will finally be fast tracked come Wednesday. "For the past 25 years, I haven't seen a more conducive atmosphere in the highest quarters of the government," he said.

with thanks : source :


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