The Supreme Court has turned down a petition that sought to stay ongoing proceedings before the Delhi High Court with respect to several 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases wherein it has sent show cause notices to 11 individuals asking as to why they should not be re-tried.
Eleven of those accused including Mahender Yadav a former lawmaker and Balwan Khokhar an erstwhile councillor were acquitted by a trial court in five related cases. But the High Court has taken note on its own after perusing the case files and issued the show cause notices.
A Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, D Y Chandrachud and Justices A M Khanwilkar rejected a plea filed by Mr. Yadav asking to stay proceedings.
Show Cause Notices Sent In March
The show cause notices were issued on March 29 to the 11 persons who were acquitted in the trial they had faced for several wrongdoings during the riots that took place between November 1 and 2, 1984, in the Delhi Cantonment area.
In the show cause notices sent the High Court has asked those acquitted why it should not order a fresh investigation and trial against them for being accused of “horrifying crimes against humanity”.
Mr. Yadav in response moved the apex court stating that the High Court had no right to suo motu restart trial proceedings in which he had been acquitted.
The High Court issued a directive to “secure ends of justice” after reviewing the trial court records of the five separate cases where the accused were acquitted of offences involving the largescale killings of Sikhs that occurred during riots that followed the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
The trial court records had been submitted to the High Court by the CBI in regards to a separate 1984 riot case in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and sentences given out to other accused is being challenged by the investigating agency, the convicts and the riot victims.
The High Court issued five separate verdict expressing its unhappiness at the prosecutors failing to support the trial courts, adding that they had not ensured the disclosure of truth and the punishment of the guilty.