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SC to form fresh SIT to monitor probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it would constitute a fresh three-member SIT, to be headed by a former high court judge, to monitor probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases that followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, in which investigations were closed.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked the Centre to suggest names today itself for its consideration and appointment in the proposed Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the proposed committee will be headed by a former high court judge and consist of one retired and one serving police officer.

It also made it clear the retired police officer shall not be below the rank of DIG at the time of superannuation.

The apex court said a supervisory body, appointed by it has found that out of 241 cases, 186 cases were closed without investigation.

The apex court today perused the report of the supervisory body which was submitted before it in a leather box with number-lock system.

The supervisory body, which had submitted the final report, comprised former apex court judges Justice J M Panchal and Justice K S P Radhakrishnan.

On August 16, last year, the apex court had appointed the supervisory panel to examine the SIT's decision to close 241 cases in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots matter and asked it to submit report in three months.

The Centre had earlier said that out of the 250 cases which were investigated by the SIT, closure reports were filed in 241.

It had said that nine cases were still being investigated by the SIT, while two are being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The apex court had on March 24, 2018, asked the Centre to place before it the files pertaining to the 199 cases of the anti-Sikh riots which the special investigation team (SIT) set up by the Home Ministry had decided to "close".

The SIT is headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch, and has Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, an additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police, as its members.

The anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

The government had earlier filed a status report on the probe conducted by the SIT in the cases.

Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon had earlier told the bench that a total of 293 riot-related cases were taken up for scrutiny by the three-member SIT and it had decided to close 199 of them after scrutiny.

Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had sought the court's direction for setting up an SIT to ensure speedy justice to riots victims. -PTI

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