Delhi HC acquits 3 in ‘84 riots case giving benefit of doubt

Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 22:38

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday
acquitted three persons who were sentenced to life for
allegedly attempting to murder a Sikh family during the 1984
riots, rejecting the testimonies of the victims.

A Division Bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ajit
Bharihoke set aside the conviction order of the trial court
and acquitted Mangat Sain alias Billa, Bhagat Singh and Brij
Mohan Verma.
"We set aside the impugned judgement of conviction
and acquit the appellants on all counts giving them benefit of
doubt," the Bench said and directed the jail authorities to
release them.

Rejecting the statements of the complainants--
Joginder Singh and his two sons Jagmohan and Gurvinder, the
Bench said, the testimony of Jagmohan and Gurinder "is highly
suspect and it is not safe to base conviction of the
appellants on the aforesaid evidence...."

The Bench slammed the investigating agency for not
making Master Shrikishan, whose presence was mentioned by
the victims in their statements to police, as an eye-witness
in the case.
"This circumstance also goes against the prosecution
because the only independent eye-witness of occurance whose
identity was available to the police has been withheld by the
prosecution," the court said.

"This raise a presumption that had Master Shrikrishna
been produced in the court he would not have supported the
case of the prosecution," the Bench observed.

The anti-riots cell of Delhi police had probed the
incident in which Joginder Singh and his sons were seriously
injured while their house was burnt down by a mob on November
one, 1984.

The case was re-investigated by the police on a
recommendation of Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission in 1992
following an affidavit filed by complainant Joginder Singh.

The court had framed charges under various provisions
of the IPC, including that relating to attempt to murder,
against the accused in 2001.

The prosecution produced nine witnesses including sons
of the complainant who had identified the accused during the
trial.

According to the police, a mob led by the accused had
attacked Joginder Singh and his family members and looted
valuables from their Shastri Nagar residence before setting it
afire during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that had rocked the
national capital following the assassination of the then
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 22:38

comments powered by Disqus