The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the reopening of five cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The bench of Justices Gita Mittal and Anu Malhotra said neither the witnesses nor the complainants in these cases were examined properly by the trial courts, reported PTI. The court asked the complainants to appear before it on April 20.
The court also issued show cause notices to all the accused, who were acquitted in 1986, and asked why fresh trials cannot be held. The accused in these five cases include former councillor Balwan Khokkar and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Ved Prakash. The court has also appointed three lawyers as amicus curiae and directed the Delhi Police to trace the complainants, according to ANI.
The bench took suo motu cognisance of the matter after going through trial court records, reported PTI. These records were placed before the bench the by the Central Bureau of Investigation while challenging the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in another 1984 riot case. Kumar is accused of instigating a mob to kill two Sikhs – Sohan Singh and his son Avtar Singh – in Delhi’s Janakpuri area.
The riots broke out on November 1, 1984, after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. As many as 2,433 people had died in Delhi alone.