Law & Order

1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Case: Supreme Court Nod For 2-member SIT To Reopen & Probe 186 Riot Cases

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

In a massive push towards finally and eventually ensuring justice and accountability over the horrific 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Supreme Court on Tuesday finalised a 2-member SIT to reopen and investigate 186 cases pertaining to the massacre.

In doing so, the apex court has given its go-ahead to the SIT's constitution being changed from 3-members to 2 members, who will now reopen and reinvestigate cases that had been closed earlier.

Counsel for the riots victims, HS Phoolka spoke to mediapersons outside the Supreme Court and gave a background to the development: "The Supreme Court had constituted a new SIT in Jan 2018 to reinvestigate cases that were closed. They've been working for 9 months -- two of them. Today we requested the Supreme Court to let the 2 members continue. They accepted. SIT will continue with 2 members."

The last month has seen significant developments related to the horrific rioting that had broken out in 1984 following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in which over 3000 people, mostly from the Sikh community, were killed.

  • On November 20, the first death penalty was awarded in the matter, to Yashpal Singh for killing two men in the riots.
  • On November 28, the Delhi High Court had dismissed 23 review pleas filed by more than 88 accused persons against their conviction by a sessions court in the riots cases.
  • Significantly, also in November, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was identified and named by a victim in the riots case at a hearing in the Patiala House Court.