NEW DELHI, India—On April 30, the Supreme Court of India quashed the Delhi High Court’s verdict that convicted 15 genocide culprits for five years and acquitted all of them. Acquitting 15 out of total 70 genocide culprits, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that there was no direct evidence against these men and they were not identified by witnesses.
This case pertains to Trilokpuri area of India’s national capital Delhi, which was one of the worst affected areas of Delhi in the 1984 Sikh genocide that was committed by the Hindu mobs after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31 in 1984.
As per India’s official records, Police had recovered 95 dead bodies from Trilokpuri. More than 100 houses of Sikhs were also burnt.
Although, all the genocide culprits were sentenced to five years by the trial court for rioting, burning houses and violation of curfew on August 27, 1996 but charges of murder could not be brought against any of them.
In November last year, the Delhi High Court had upheld the conviction of 70 out of the 89 people who were sentenced to five years of jail by the trial court for rioting, burning houses and violation of curfew during the 1984 Sikh genocide.
“The fact that these cases have continued to linger on in courts at the stage of trial or appeals is itself an indicator of the reality that the response of the law has been tardy, ineffective and highly unsatisfactory,” Justice RK Gauba had remarked in his 79-page verdict.