84 anti-Sikh riots: SC refuses to stay proceedings in Delhi HC

11/11/2017

New Delhi, Nov 10: The Supreme Court today refused to stay the proceedings in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases before the Delhi High Court which has issued show cause notices to 11 persons asking why they should not be re-tried. Eleven persons including former councillor Balwan Khokhar and ex-MLA Mahender Yadav have already been acquitted by a trial court in five cases and the High Court, after perusing case files, on its own took note and issued show cause notices to them.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud declined the plea of Yadav, saying it would not stay the proceedings before the high court.
The high court had on March 29 issued notices to these 11 persons who had faced trial for various offences during the riots on November 1 and 2, 1984 in the Delhi Cantonment area and were acquitted later.
Aggrieved by the decision, Yadav moved the apex court, saying the high court has no power to suo motu reopen trial in the cases in which he has been acquitted. The high court had sought the response of those acquitted as to why it should not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they had faced allegations of "horrifying crimes against humanity".
The high court had issued directions to "secure ends of justice" after perusing trial court records regarding the acquittal of the accused in five different cases relating to the killing of Sikhs during the riots which broke out a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. The trial court records were placed before the high court by the CBI during the hearing of another 1984 riot case in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and punishment awarded to other convicts is under challenge by CBI, the riot victims and convicts.
The high court, in five separate verdicts, had expressed unhappiness over the failure of the prosecutors to assist the trial courts and said they had not ensured that truth is brought out and the guilty punished.

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