Clearing the way for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into 186 cases in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Supreme Court Tuesday amended its earlier order and allowed it to continue probe with two members.
A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Hemant Gupta modified the court’s January 11 order setting up a three-member SIT, after the Centre and petitioners agreed that the team be allowed to continue with two members. One of the three members agreed by the court earlier had declined to join citing “personal reasons”.
“Learned counsel for the parties, including the learned ASG, are in agreement that order dated 11.01.2018 may be modified in view of the fact that Mr Rajdeep Singh, IPS (Retd.) (UP-1979) has declined to be a member of the Committee on personal grounds. It is agreed by learned counsel for the parties, including the learned ASG, that the committee may now consist of Justice S N Dhingra, former Judge of the High Court of Delhi and Mr Abhishek Dular, IPS (HP-2006). Accordingly, order dated 11.01.2018 is modified to the above Extent,” the bench ordered.
The January order was given by a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
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 members of the Committee.
Appearing before a bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta Monday, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand suggested that former DG-rank officer Navneet Rajan Wasan, who had earlier served as the Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), be included in the committee in place of Singh.
But the bench did not agree and said the government cannot “choose its own judge.” “Give us two to three names,” Justice Lokur said.
Senior advocates H S Phoolka and R S Suri, appearing for the petitioner then urged the court to permit the SIT to continue with the two existing members to avoid further delay. The ASG also said she had no objection to this.