Asks what was state doing when 5 Sikhs were killed next to Cantt.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday wondered what the state machinery was doing during the 1984 riots as one of the incidents of killing of Sikhs occurred right next to the Delhi Cantonment area.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said had the cases related to the riots, which followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, been dealt properly, it would not have been hearing the issue now.
The observation by the bench came while hearing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) appeal against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in the murder of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984.
“What was the state machinery doing? The incidents happened right next to the Delhi Cantonment,” the high court said.
Senior advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for Kumar, told the court there was no direction by the Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission to re-investigate the instant case against Kumar.
CBI counsel D.P. Singh and senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, representing the riot victims, told the court that after receiving the Nanavati commission report, Parliament had decided to re-investigate the instant case against Kumar.
The arguments remained inconclusive and are expected to continue on July 19. Kumar had earlier told the high court that there was no allegation against him of instigating a mob against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
While Kumar was acquitted in the case by the trial court, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty.
The trial court had awarded life term in May 2013 to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal and a three-year jail term to two others — former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.