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1984 anti-Sikh riots: Court dismisses plea to prosecute cops

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 8:57pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A plea seeking the prosecution of four Delhi Police officers for allegedly destroying the records and files of a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, has been dismissed by a court here saying those documents were not relevant and their preservation was not required.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau rejected the plea of Special Public Prosecutor(SPP) B S Joon who had sought framing of charges of destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy against the then SHO Police Station Nangloi Inspector Rampal Singh, SI Dalel Singh, the then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh and the then SHO R S Dahiya. "In view of my discussion, I hereby conclude that the SPP has failed to bring before this court any material, even prima facie, which would show the complicity of the then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh and the then Inspector R S Dahiya in the criminal conspiracy alleged to have been hatched by the accused Dalel Singh and Ram Pal Singh for destruction of record of the present case.

"Rather, there is a total failure to even highlight and establish if there existed any material which was relevant evidence and was required to be preserved and therefore in the absence of the same, the question of destruction does not arise," the judge said. The court also said the application was filed by the prosecutor after 22 years when the case is at the stage of final arguments and is dismissed as it is "bereft of all details having nexus to the case". The court was hearing the riot case which was registered in 1991 with regard to the killing of four persons and the records and files were alleged to have been destroyed in 1992.

Joon in his application had alleged these four officials were responsible for destroying the relevant records relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots of Nangloi Police Station which they did deliberately to save the accused in the present case despite lodging of the present FIR on August 28, 1991.

In the riot case registered at Nangloi police station, accused Satpal Gupta, Dalel Singh, Ram Pal Singh and Karan Singh are facing trial while two others Prem Chand and Ram Niwas died during the pendency of the case.

The court said even if it was presumed that some records, whose details the prosecution failed to give, were allegedly destroyed, the then ACP and the SHO cannot be summoned and proceeded against in the absence of any sanction granted by the competent authority for prosecuting them. "...Hence in this background, there is no question of framing the additional charge under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of IPC against the accused Ram Pal Singh, Dalel Singh or against other officers of Delhi Police." it said.

The court said all the allegations made by Joon were general and non specific and he has vaguely stated that photographs of the damaged/burnt house of one Gurbachan Singh, samples lifted from the spot and entries regarding the cremation of dead bodies have been destroyed but has not been able to inform whether the photographs were actually taken or exhibits lifted from the spot or details of cremation entered in the Roznamchas. "Even before the alleged destruction of entire records of police station, the Ranganath Mishra Commission had already summoned and perused the relevant entries and records. Had these entries and records relating to photographs...., I am sure it would have been produced before the Commission," the judge said.

The court said no doubt the official record, including certificates, inquest papers, untraced and cancelled files were destroyed on February 5, 1992 as admitted by the Delhi Police, but it was evident that the destruction was carried out as per the provisions of Delhi Police Rules and the Standing Orders therein after following due procedure.

It also said the victims and the Special Investigation Cell, to whom the probe of all the riot cases were transferred, had failed to request and seek preservation of the relevant record and "it does not lie in their mouth to now rake up this issue after 29 years".


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