*****Trial court fast-tracks hearing, asks police to provide security to prosecutor:EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7
A TRIALin one of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, which has been on for the past 22 years, was put into fast-track mode on Friday. A sessions court declared that the proceedings in the case will be conducted on a daily basis from February 24. The court also directed the DCP (South) to arrange for the security of the special public prosecutor in the case.
The special public prosecutor B S Joon had earlier submitted an application alleging that police officers at the Nangloi police station had destroyed important records in the case in order to aid the accused.
The court had sought replies from the DCP (Legal) and the DCP (West) on the issue. Meanwhile, Joon on Monday had sought to withdraw himself from the case claiming that the security given to him by the Delhi Police had been withdrawn without any prior notice. He also mentioned that he was “under pressure” to not pursue the issue of destruction of records in the case.
On Friday, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau took police to task for withdrawing protection given to Joon. Police said the security was withdrawn as Joon had retired as the director of prosecution on January 31.
However, Judge Lau said the removal of security at the time when the prosecutor was alleging destruction of evidence by police was “an interesting co-incidence” and appeared to be “an act of vendetta” on the part of police. The court directed DCP (South) to consider arranging Joon’s security on the grounds that he was still a special public prosecutor in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Judge Lau also said the replies filed by the DCP (Legal) regarding the procedure on destruction of police records was not complete. A week’s time was given to the department to submit a satisfactory response.
Joon on Friday told the court that key evidence, including inquest reports, logbook entries, kalandras, non-cognisable offence register, were missing and he believed they were destroyed by the then SHO and ACP of Nangloi police station. Judge Lau asked Joon to submit in writing by February 14 the documents that he believed were destroyed by police and how these documents could be considered as an evidence in the present case.
The prosecution’s case is that two local businessmen and three police officers had directly encouraged and facilitated the killing of several persons during the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1987. The case concerns five riot-victims who filed an affidavit before Jain Banerjee Committee seeking registration of a separate FIR in the case. The FIR was registered in 1991 and chargesheet filed in 1994.
Final arguments in the case were concluded in May last year and verdict was expected in August last year.
Source: The Indian Express, Chandigarh edition, Pg 3.