1984 riots: HC notice to Centre on plea to strip medal of Kanth

Last Updated: Friday, June 3, 2011 - 20:29

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued
notices to the Centre and city Police Commissioner on a plea
seeking to strip police medal awarded to former IPS officer
Amod Kanth for his role in maintaining law and order during
1984 anti-Sikh riots.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv
Khanna, which took note of an appeal filed against the order
of a single judge order of the High Court, has sought
responses from the Centre and others, including Kanth, and
fixed the matter for further hearing on September 16.
Earlier, Justice S Muralidhar had dismissed the petition
of Amrik Singh Lovely on the issue, saying the decision to
confer police medals to Kanth and S S Manan, then SHO of
Paharganj police station, was taken and ratified by various
authorities including the PMO.

Challenging the verdict, Lovely, in his petition, said
"the impugned judgement of the single judge Bench is violative
of judicial discipline."

"The single judge failed to appreciate the fact that
police brutally killed Narinder Singh on the road while he was
in their custody and implicated his (Lovely`s) family members
in a false case. But still the police officers, instead of
being punished, were given awards," the petition said.

Justice Muralidhar, dismissing the plea, had said the
scope of a judicial review in such matters was limited.

Amrik Singh Lovely had sought a direction to the Ministry
of Home Affairs to withdraw the police medal for gallantry
conferred on Kanth and Manan by a presidential notification on
June 7, 1985.
Rejecting the plea, Justice Muralidhar had said that
there was hardly any scope for judiciary to "transgress" in
the decision-making process of the executive.

“The original file containing the citation and notes
leading to the decision of the President has been produced
before and perused by court. They reflect the application of
mind by several authorities in a hierarchical manner up to the
Prime Minister and the President of India," the court had

Lovely, in his petition, claimed the policemen had
implicated 16 members of his family, belonging to the victim
community, in a false case during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The fact that all the 16 persons were granted bail later
and a CFSL report was not considered while deciding to
award the police officers, the petition said.

16 persons, including four minor and five women, of
the family of Amrik and Trilok Singh were arrested on November
5, 1984, for allegedly opening fire on a mob which led to the
killing of two men including an army jawan.

Justice Muralidhar, however, had said the state should
be sensitive and not rush to award the policemen.


First Published: Friday, June 3, 2011 - 20:29

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