The Hush Post: One of the judges who brought judicial activism in the 1990s in India, SN Dhingra will head the three member special investigation team to probe the 186 cases of anti-Sikh riots. Justice SN Dhingra is a former Delhi High Court judge. The other suggested names by the home ministry to the Supreme Court are of retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular. The SIT has been set up by the Supreme Court.
At the request of additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, the bench recorded that the appointment of a new SIT was not a reflection on the previous SIT, which was set up in 2015 and was tasked with further investigation of 291 cases. The bench asked the new SIT to submit a status report by March 19 on further probe into 186 cases.
What is significant about Dhingra’s appointment is that he had conducted trials in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in the 1990s as an additional session’s judge in Karkardooma court in east Delhi. His tough approach towards the accused, including H K L Bhagat, had made the former Union minister rush to the Delhi High Court in 1996, seeking transfer of the two cases against him to some other court. The HC had rejected Bhagat’s plea. Dhingra had refused Bhagat’s bail then and it had resulted in his jail.
In August last year, the apex curt had set up a supervisory body of two former SC judges and asked to examine 241 matters which have been closed and express whether there any justification in closing the cases.
The two judges analysed the investigations carried out in the cases by the NDA-appointed SIT and reported to a bench that 186 cases were not investigated further and that the probe was required.