Thirty years after the anti-Sikh riots, a trial court has issued a notice to the Delhi Police to respond to a prosecution plea alleging that all records pertaining to the riots kept at Nangloi police station had been “deliberately destroyed” in 1992 to shield the accused.
On Saturday, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau issued a notice to DCP (West) and DCP (Law) to reply to the plea, which alleged that the then SHO of Nangloi police station and the then ACP (West) had destroyed records, despite the fact that an FIR in the case had been registered and investigation was underway.
While the FIR was registered in 1991, the chargesheet was filed in 1994 on the basis of statements given by eyewitnesses and members of the inquiry committees set up to look into the riots.
“The name of Sajjan Kumar was there in the FIR, but he was given clean chit by police and was not sent for trial. His case is also connected with the missing chargesheet. It appears that the records have been intentionally destroyed to shield Sajjan Kumar. A detailed inquiry should be held in this matter,” senior Advocate H S Phoolka, counsel for the riot victims, said.
The court on Saturday had noted that through the application, “the Special Public Prosecutor is in fact seeking invocation of powers vested in this court under Section 319 of CrPC for summoning the officers of the investigating agency.”.
The court has framed 10 separate questions regarding the alleged destruction of evidence and whether the documents destroyed were directly related to the case. It has also raised questions of whether the alleged destruction of records had been a subject matter of investigation and what were the conclusions of the investigating officer on the issue.
The court has asked police to reply on whether there were any officer orders/standing orders issued by the Police department governing the destruction of records during the period 1991-1992.
The court is hearing a case against six persons — including three policemen — accused of involvement in the killings during the November riots. The judgment had been reserved by a bench last year, but the Judge retired before pronouncing the judgment. The final arguments are being heard anew.
On January 21, the prosecution had filed an application to add charges of destruction of evidence, deliberate acts to hurt the sentiments of a religious group and criminal conspiracy. The prosecution has also demanded that then SHO Rajender Kumar Dahiya, and then ACP Amarender Kumar Singh be added as accused as they had deliberately destroyed the records to aid police officers involved in the riots.
The SHO of Nangloi police station in 1984, Inspector Rampal Singh Rana, then Sub-Inspector Dalel Singh, and then traffic constable Karam Singh have been named as accused for having directly encouraged and facilitated the killing of several persons in Nangloi. Three persons, two of whom died during the proceedings, have also been named as accused.
Case FIR number 418 of 1991 was registered for the deaths of several persons, and was clubbed with at least four other FIRs — registered in 1984, and 1987 for arson, looting, rioting, murder and other charges.
The chargesheet, which was filed in 1994, alleged that Sat Singh and Darshan Singh, residents of the area, had been killed by a mob.