The Supreme Court of India Tuesday agreed to the government of India’s decision to a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) team in the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre case. The apex court ordered the team to continue with the investigation and modified its January 11 order that constituted a three-member team.
The court had approved the names of former Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra, serving Himachal Pradesh cadre IPS officer Abhishek Dular and retired IG-rank officer Rajdeep Singh as committee members. Singh declined to be a part of the team citing personal reasons.
Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Pinky Anand, appearing for GoI, said she has no objection to the suggestions given by the counsel for the petitioner that the other two members should continue with the work. Senior advocates R S Suri and H S Phoolka, representing the petitioner, said appointing a third member in the SIT might delay the process and the other two members should continue with their work.
But the court noted that since the original order setting up the SIT was by a three-judge bench, it could not be changed by a two-judge bench. A three-judge bench was set up Wednesday, which asked Dhingra and Dular to continue with the probe into 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre.
The official records say that over 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India after Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguard on October 31, 1984. The violence spread across the country, but mostly in Delhi, saw women being raped and people dragged out of their homes to be burnt alive.