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A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra made the remarks after it was informed that the accused persons in five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases have moved the Supreme Court against its order.
To this, the bench orally observed that it had only issued show cause notices to 11 accused persons in the case who were acquitted of the charges, seeking to know why it should not order re-investigation and re-trial against them as they had faced allegations of "horrifying crimes against humanity".
"We are only going to order re-trial. We are not holding you guilty," the bench said, adding that your special leave petition against March 29 order is to "ensure that victims' families do not get justice".
"We issued such direction as we felt that the trial court had neither examined the accused, nor the witnesses were cross examined," it added.
"More painful was that over 3,000 people have died in the 1984 riots, but the accused had said that no one had died in the incident," the bench noted.
While issuing notices, the high court had asked the police to produce the complainants in the cases, along with the status of the accused persons who were acquitted by the trial court in all the cases.
The bench had issued notices to 11 accused, including Former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar and ex-MLA Mahender Yadav, on the complaints filed regarding rioting incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in Delhi Cantonment area.
Khokhar has been serving life term after being convicted for murder in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The accused were acquitted in five different cases in 1986 relating to the killing of Sikhs during the riots, which broke out a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
The trial court records were placed before the high court by the CBI during the hearing of another 1984 riot case in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and punishment awarded to other convicts, including Khokhar, is under challenge by CBI, the riot victims and convicts.
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