Delhi HC up­holds trial court con­vic­tion of 89 peo­ple in 1984 ri­ots

Asian Journal - - OPINION EDITORIAL -

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wed­nes­day up­held a trial court con­vic­tion of 89 peo­ple for ri­ot­ing, burn­ing houses and breach­ing cur­few in Trilokpuri area in east Delhi dur­ing the 1984 anti-sikh ri­ots. Jus­tice R.K. Gauba, in its 79-page judge­ment, said: “Thirty-four long years have passed after the crimes were com­mit­ted and, yet, the vic­tims await jus­tice and clo­sure.

Is this what we call a po­tent and ef­fec­tive crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem?”

“It is in­deed a mat­ter of lament that there has been no mean­ing­ful thought spared to date to usher in re­forms in the ju­di­cial process to ef­fec­tively deal with cases of com­mu­nal ri­ots which are en­gi­neered, more of­ten than not, by those who have clout or in­flu­ence.”

“The man­ner of prose­cu­tion of the case at hand would un­doubt­edly go down in ju­di­cial his­tory of this coun­try as an ex­am­ple of crim­i­nal law process that must never be em­u­lated. From this per­spec­tive, and in the ex­pec­ta­tion that those at the helm draw les­sons from here, one hopes that this case is never for­got­ten,” said the High Court.

Jus­tice Gauba dis­missed ap­peals of the con­victs who had chal­lenged an Au­gust 27, 1996 judge­ment of a ses­sions court which had con­victed the 89 peo­ple. The trial court in its 1996 judge­ment had ac­quit­ted five of the to­tal 94 ac­cused who had been put to trial.

The court has dis­missed the con­victs’ ap­peal chal­leng­ing the trial court or­der.

Con­vict­ing all the 89 for var­i­ous of­fences in­clud­ing ri­ot­ing, the trial court had sen­tenced them to five years in jail.

Among the 89 con­victs, some died dur­ing their ap­peals and the case against them has abated, a lawyer said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.