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Balwan Khokhar vs Cbi on 17 December, 2018

$~
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ CRL.A. 861/2013 CRL.M.B. 1406/2018

BALWAN KHOKHAR ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Sandeep Sethi, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. Rakesh Vats, Advocate and
Mr. Jeetin Jhala, Advocate.
versus
CBI ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr.
Advocate with Mr. D. P. Singh,
Ms. Tarannum Cheema, Ms. Hiral
Gupta, Mr. Manu Mishra
Ms. Smrithi Suresh, Advocates for
CBI.

CORAM: JUSTICE S. MURALIDHAR
JUSTICE VINOD GOEL
ORDER

17.12.2018

1. By a common judgment passed today in Crl.A.1099/2013 (State through
CBI v. Sajjan Kumar Ors.) (certified copy placed below) and Connected
Appeals, including the present one, this Court has partly allowed the CBI’s
appeal and dismissed the present appeal. The impugned judgment dated
30th April 2013 and order on sentence dated 9th May 2013 passed by the
District Sessions Judge, North-east District, Karkardooma Courts in SC
No.26/2010 is affirmed.

2. Additionally, in the connected appeal Crl.A.1099/2013 preferred by the
CBI, the Appellant is further convicted and sentenced for the offence of

Crl.A. 861/2013 Page 1 of 2
criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with

(i) Section 436 IPC, to RI for 10 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh and in
default of payment of fine to undergo SI for 1 year;

(ii) Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC, to RI for three years; and

(iii) Section 295 IPC, to RI for two years.

All sentences, including those awarded by the trial Court, to run
concurrently.

3. The appeal and the pending application are accordingly dismissed.

S. MURALIDHAR, J.

VINOD GOEL, J.

DECEMBER 17, 2018

Crl.A. 861/2013 Page 2 of 2
$~
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Reserved on: 29th October 2018
Pronounced on: 17th December 2018

+ CRL.A. 1099/2013
STATE THROUGH CBI ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.
Mr. H. S. Phoolka, Sr. Advocate with
Ms. Kamna Vohra and Ms. Shilpa
Dewan, Advocates for Complainant
Jagdish Kaur.
Mr. Gurbaksh Singh, Mr. Jarnail
Singh and Ms. Jasleen Chahal,
Advocates for Complainant Jagsher
Singh.
versus
SAJJAN KUMAR ORS ….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Amit Sibal, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. Anil K. Sharma, Mr. S. A.
Hashmi, Mr. Vinay Tripathi,
Mr. Anuj Kumar Sharma, Mr. Ambar
Bhushan and Mr. C. M. Sangwan,
Advocates for R-1.
Mr. Sandeep Sethi, Senior Advocate
with Mr. Rakesh Vats and Mr. Jeetin
Jhala, Advocates for R-2.
Mr. R. N. Sharma, Advocate for R-3.
Mr. Aditya Vikram, Advocate
(DHCLSC) with Mr. Avinash,
Advocate for R-4.
Mr. Vikram Panwar, Advocate with

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 1 of 203
Mr. Vikas Walia and Mr. Suyash
Sinha, Advocates for R-5 and R-6.

+ CRL.A. 861/2013 CRL.M.B. 1406/2018

BALWAN KHOKHAR ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Sandeep Sethi, Senior Advocate
with Mr. Rakesh Vats and Mr. Jeetin
Jhala, Advocates.
versus
CBI ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.

+ CRL.A. 715/2013

MAHENDER YADAV ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Vikram Panwar, Advocate with
Mr. Vikas Walia and Mr. Suyash
Sinha, Advocates.
versus
CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.

+ CRL.A. 851/2013 CRL.M.A. 6605/2018
CAPT. BHAGMAL RETD. ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. R. N. Sharma, Advocate
versus

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 2 of 203
CBI ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.

+ CRL.A. 710/2014
GIRDHARI LAL ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Aditya Vikram, Advocate
(DHCLSC) with Mr. Avinash,
Advocate.
versus
STATE THROUGH CBI ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.

+ CRL.A. 753/2013

KRISHAN KHOKAR ….. Appellant
Through: Mr. Vikram Panwar, Advocate with
Mr. Vikas Walia and Mr. Suyash
Sinha, Advocates.
versus
CBI ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. R. S. Cheema, Sr. Advocate
Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms. Tarannum
Cheema, Ms. Hiral Gupta, Mr. Manu
Mishra Ms. Smrithi Suresh,
Advocates for CBI.

CORAM: JUSTICE S. MURALIDHAR
JUSTICE VINOD GOEL

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 3 of 203
JUDGMENT
Dr. S. Muralidhar, J.:
Contents

Charges framed against A-1………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Charges framed against A-2 to A-6 ……………………………………………………………………… 10
The prosecution case ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Raj Nagar Gurudwara incident and killing of Nirmal Singh ……………………………………. 13
Murders at Shiv Mandir Marg …………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Inconclusive investigation and subsequent Commissions of Inquiry ………………………… 23
The Justice Nanavati Commission and subsequent investigation by CBI ………………….. 25
The charge sheet ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
The trial Court’s judgment ………………………………………………………………………………….. 31
Appeals against the acquittal of A-1 …………………………………………………………………….. 37
Prosecution’s submissions as regards A-1 …………………………………………………………….. 38
Complainant’s submissions as regards A-1 …………………………………………………………… 45
Submissions on behalf of A-1 ……………………………………………………………………………… 50
The Court’s findings as regards the role of Sajjan Kumar (A-1) ………………………………. 65
Failure to register FIRs and unsatisfactory investigations ……………………………………. 65
Past involvement of A-1 …………………………………………………………………………………. 75
Order framing charges against A-1 upheld ………………………………………………………… 85
Admissibility of statements made before the Commissions of Inquiry ………………….. 89
Extraordinary circumstances leading to A-1 not being named ……………………………… 91
Analysis of the evidence of PW-1 ……………………………………………………………………. 95
Analysis of the evidence of PW-3 ………………………………………………………………….. 116
Analysis of the evidence of PW-4 ………………………………………………………………….. 119
Analysis of the evidence of PW-6 ………………………………………………………………….. 121
Analysis of the evidence of PW-7 ………………………………………………………………….. 125
Analysis of the evidence of PW-12 ………………………………………………………………… 127
Analysis of the evidence of PW-10 ………………………………………………………………… 129
Analysis of the evidence of PW-9 ………………………………………………………………….. 136
Analysis of the defence witnesses…………………………………………………………………… 137
Finding on A-1’s involvement in criminal conspiracy ………………………………………. 143
Reversal of acquittal …………………………………………………………………………………….. 157
Conviction of A-1 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 162
Appeals by Mahender Yadav (A-3) and Krishan Khokar (A-6)……………………………… 163
Appeal by Captain Bhagmal (Retd) (A-4) …………………………………………………………… 174
Appeal by Balwan Khokar (A-2) ……………………………………………………………………….. 186
Appeal by Girdhari Lal (A-5) ……………………………………………………………………………. 187
Crimes against humanity…………………………………………………………………………………… 191
Summary of conclusions …………………………………………………………………………………… 198
Sentences………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 201
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 203

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 4 of 203
In the summer of 1947, during partition, this country witnessed horrific
mass crimes where several lakhs of civilians, including Sikhs, Muslims and
Hindus were massacred. A young poet, Amrita Pritam, who fled to this
country with her two little children from Lahore was witness to the
manifold tragedies during that perilous journey. She was moved to pen an
„Ode to Waris Shah‟ in which she spoke of the fertile land of Punjab having
“sprouted poisonous weeds far and near” and where “Seeds of hatred have
grown high, bloodshed is everywhere / Poisoned breeze in forest turned
bamboo flutes into snakes / Their venom has turned the bright and rosy
Punjab all blue”. The killings would continue in the streets of Delhi.

Thirty-seven years later, the country was again witness to another enormous
human tragedy. Following the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then
Prime Minister of India, on the morning of 31st October 1984 by two of her
Sikh bodyguards, a communal frenzy was unleashed. For four days
between 1st and 4th November of that year, all over Delhi, 2,733 Sikhs were
brutally murdered. Their houses were destroyed. In the rest of the country
too thousands of Sikhs were killed.

A majority of the perpetrators of these horrific mass crimes, enjoyed
political patronage and were aided by an indifferent law enforcement
agency. The criminals escaped prosecution and punishment for over two
decades. It took as many as ten Committees and Commissions for the
investigation into the role of some of them to be entrusted in 2005 to the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), 21 years after the occurrence.

The present appeals arise as a result of the investigation by the CBI into the
killing of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar Part I area in Palam Colony in South
West Delhi on 1st and 2nd November 1984 and the burning down of a
Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part II. Six accused, including Sajjan Kumar a
Congress leader who was a Member of Parliament at that time, were sent
up for trial some time in 2010. Three years later, the trial court convicted
five of the accused: three of them for the offences of armed rioting and
murder and two of them for the offence of armed rioting. Sajjan Kumar
stood acquitted by the trial Court of all offences. The convicted accused as
well as the CBI appealed to this Court.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 5 of 203

In the judgment that follows this Court has partly allowed CBI‟s appeal and
reversed the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar. This Court has convicted him for
the offences of criminal conspiracy and abetment in the commission of the
crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds
of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal
harmony, defiling and destruction of the Gurudwara by burning. Further
while affirming the conviction and sentences awarded by the trial court to
the other five accused, this Court has additionally convicted and sentenced
them for the offence of criminal conspiracy to commit the aforementioned
crimes.

The accused in this case have been brought to justice primarily on account
of the courage and perseverance of three eyewitnesses. Jagdish Kaur whose
husband, son and three cousins were the five killed; Jagsher Singh, another
cousin of Jagdish Kaur, and Nirpreet Kaur who saw the Gurudwara being
burnt down and her father being burnt alive by the raging mobs. It is only
after the CBI entered the scene, that they were able to be assured and they
spoke up. Admirably, they stuck firm to their truth at the trial.

This Court is of the view that the mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi and
elsewhere in November 1984 were in fact „crimes against humanity‟. They
will continue to shock the collective conscience of society for a long time to
come. While it is undeniable that it has taken over three decades to bring
the accused in this case to justice, and that our criminal justice system
stands severely tested in that process, it is essential, in a democracy
governed by the rule of law to be able to call out those responsible for such
mass crimes. It is important to assure those countless victims waiting
patiently that despite the challenges, truth will prevail and justice will be
done.

* * * * *

1. These appeals are directed against the judgment dated 30th April 2013
passed by the District Sessions Judge, North-east District, Karkardooma
Courts, Delhi („trial Court‟) in SC No.26/2010 arising out of FIR No.RC-
SI-1/2005/S0024 registered at PS Delhi Cantonment acquitting Sajjan

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 6 of 203
Kumar (Accused No.1: „A-1‟) of the offences of criminal conspiracy and
abetment while, at the same time, convicting Balwan Khokar („A-2‟),
Mahender Yadav („A-3‟), Captain Bhagmal (Retd.) („A-4‟), Girdhari Lal
(„A-5‟), and Krishan Khokar („A-6‟). The trial Court convicted A-2, A-4,
and A-5 for the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, and 302 read
with 149 IPC. A-3 and A-6 were convicted for the offences punishable
under Sections 147 and 148 IPC. By the order on sentence dated
9th May 2013, they have been sentenced in the following manner:

(i) For the offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 149
IPC, A-2, A-4, and A-5 were sentenced to imprisonment for life
along with payment of a fine of Rs.1,000/- and, in default of payment
of fine, to undergo rigorous imprisonment („RI‟) for six months;

(ii) For the offence punishable under Section 147 IPC, all five convicted
accused were sentenced to two years’ RI along with payment of a fine
of Rs.1,000/- and, in default of payment of fine, to undergo RI for six
months;

(iii) For the offence punishable under Section 148 IPC, all five convicted
accused were sentenced to three years’ RI along with payment of a
fine of Rs.1,000/- and, in default of payment of fine, to undergo RI
for six months.

2. The Central Bureau of Investigation („CBI‟) has filed Crl.A.1099/2013
challenging the complete acquittal of A-1 and the acquittal of the other
accused for the other charges framed against them. The complainant,
Jagdish Kaur (PW-1), had also preferred Crl.A.850/2013 against the
acquittal of A-1 which was subsequently withdrawn, with this Court

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 7 of 203
granting her liberty to address arguments in Crl.A.1099/2013.

3. The convicted accused, have filed separate appeals. Crl.A.861/2013 has
been preferred by A-2, Crl.A.715/2013 by A-3, Crl.A.851/2013 by A-4,
Crl.A.710/2014 by A-5, and Crl.A.753/2013 by A-6.

Charges framed against A-1

4. Four articles of charge were framed against A-1. First, he was charged
with having committed the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under
Section 120B read with Sections 147, 148, 302, 395, 427, 436, 449, 153A,
295, and 505 IPC on account of entering into an agreement, on or about
31st October 1984, with A-2 to A-6 as well as Maha Singh, Santosh Rani @
Janta Hawaldarni, Ishwar Chand Gaur @ Chand Sharabi, Dharamveer
Singh Solanki, Balidan Singh, Raj Kumar @ Rajaram (all since deceased),
and other known and unknown persons including police personnel to
commit the following acts:

(i) Rioting,
(ii) Rioting armed with deadly weapon,
(iii) Murder,
(iv) Mischief causing damage,
(v) Mischief by fire with intent to destroy houses etc.,
(vi) House trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death,
(vii) Dacoity,

(viii) Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion
and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony,

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 8 of 203

(ix) Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion
of Sikh community, and

(x) Making statements conducing to public mischief.

5. Secondly, A-1 was charged with being a principal offender who abetted
and instigated the aforementioned co-accused persons in the wake of the
assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi to commit, in pursuance of the
aforementioned conspiracy, offences punishable under Sections 147, 148,
302, 395, 427, 436, 449, 153A, 295, and 505 IPC and thereby having
committed the offence punishable under Section 109 IPC read with the
aforementioned provisions of the IPC.

6. Thirdly, A-1 was charged with having delivered fiery/provocative
speeches to the mob gathered at Raj Nagar, Palam Colony, Delhi
Cantonment on 1st/2nd November 1984 and having instigated and promoted
violent enmity against the Sikh community and disturbed harmony between
the two religious groups/communities of the locality in retaliation of the
assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi, giving rise to feelings of enmity,
hatred, and ill will between members of the non-Sikh and Sikh
communities which was prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony and
disturbed public tranquillity and was thereby guilty of committing the
offence punishable under Section 153A IPC.

7. Fourthly, A-1 was charged with having publicly made a statement on
1st/2nd November 1984, to wit, by asking members of the Jat community to
not leave any Sikh or any other person who had given shelter to Sikhs alive,
inciting the mob gathered there by delivering fiery/provocative speeches
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 9 of 203
and was thereby guilty of committing the offence punishable under Section
505 IPC.

Charges framed against A-2 to A-6

8. Nine articles of charge were framed separately against the five other
accused, viz. A-2 to A-6. Firstly, they were charged in a manner similar to
A-1 with commission, on or about 31st October 1984, of the offence of
criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with Sections 147,
148, 302, 395, 427, 436, 449, 153A, 295, and 505 IPC.

9. Secondly, they were charged with having been members of an unlawful
assembly on 1st/2nd November 1984 in Raj Nagar, Palam Colony, Delhi
Cantonment using force and violence in pursuance of the common object to
loot, damage, and burn the properties of the Sikh community as well as to
kill members of the Sikh community residing in the area in retaliation to the
assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi and were thereby guilty of commission
of the offence punishable under Section 147 IPC. Thirdly, they were
charged with commission of the aforementioned acts while being members
of an unlawful assembly armed with guns, jellies, iron rods/pipes, lathis,
kerosene oil, etc. and were thereby guilty of commission of the offence
punishable under Section 148 IPC.

10. Fourthly, they were charged with having committed, while being
members of the aforementioned unlawful assembly, the murders of Kehar
Singh son of Dhyan Singh, Gurpreet Singh son of Kehar Singh,
Raghuvinder Singh son of Gurcharan Singh, Narender Pal Singh son of
Gurcharan Singh, and Kuldeep Singh son of Hardev Singh and were
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 10 of 203
thereby guilty of commission of the offence punishable under Section 302
read with Section 149 IPC. Fifthly, they were charged with committing
mischief and causing loss and damage amounting to approximately
Rs.3,30,000/- while being members of the aforementioned unlawful
assembly and were thereby guilty of commission of the offence punishable
under Section 427 read with Section 149 IPC.

11. Sixthly, they were charged with committing mischief while being
members of the aforementioned unlawful assembly by setting fire to a place
of worship, viz. the Raj Nagar Gurudwara, as well as the dwelling houses
H.No.RZ-1/129 RZ-15, Shiv Mandir Marg, Raj Nagar, Palam Colony,
New Delhi and were thereby guilty of the commission of the offence
punishable under Section 436 read with Section 149 IPC. Seventhly, they
were charged with having committed house trespass while being members
of the aforementioned unlawful assembly by entering H.No.RZ-1/129
RZ-15, Shiv Mandir Marg, Raj Nagar, Delhi Cantonment, which were the
dwelling house of the five deceased persons, in order to commit the offence
of murder which is punishable with death, and were thereby guilty of
commission of the offence punishable under Section 449 read with
Section 149 IPC.

12. Eighthly, they were charged with having committed dacoity while being
members of the aforementioned unlawful assembly in H.No.RZ-1/129
RZ-15, which belonged to the deceased persons, and were thereby guilty of
commission of the offence punishable under Section 395 read with
Section 149 IPC. Lastly, they were charged with destroying/damaging/

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 11 of 203
defiling a place of worship, i.e. the Raj Nagar Gurudwara held sacred by the
Sikh community, while being members of the aforementioned unlawful
assembly with the common intention of insulting the Sikh religion and were
thereby guilty of commission of the offence punishable under Section 295
read with Section 149 IPC.

The prosecution case

13. The version of events put forth by the prosecution flows mainly from
the depositions of three witnesses, viz. Jagdish Kaur (PW-1), Jagsher Singh
(PW-6), and Nirpreet Kaur (PW-10).

14. PW-1, at the time of the incident, was a resident of H.No.RZ-1/129,
Shiv Mandir Marg, Raj Nagar along with her husband, three daughters, and
two sons. Her husband, Kehar Singh, was a gun-fitter in the EME
Workshop No.505 in Delhi Cantonment. Her elder son, Gurpreet Singh,
was 18 years old at the time and was completing his B.Sc.

15. Jagsher Singh (PW-6) lived with his brothers, Narender Pal Singh and
Raghuvinder Singh, at H.No.RZ-15, Shiv Mandir Marg, Raj Nagar, Palam
Colony, Delhi Cantonment. His cousin, Kuldeep Singh, also resided with
them. Narender Pal Singh and Raghuvinder Singh were MES contractors
working with the Air Force and the Airports Authority of India, mainly
dealing in electric wiring, cable laying, water supply, etc. Kuldeep Singh
assisted them in their business from time to time. Harbhajan Kaur was the
wife of Narender Pal Singh and Daljit Kaur was the wife of Raghuvinder
Singh. Luckdeep Singh and Sandeep Singh were the sons of Raghuvinder
Singh and were both toddlers at the time. PW-1 is the cousin of PW-6,
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 12 of 203
being the daughter of his father‟s sister (bua).

16. PW-10 was the daughter of Nirmal Singh and Sampuran Kaur. She was
around 16 years old at the time of the incident. Her family comprised her
parents, herself, and her two younger brothers, Nirpal Singh and Nirmolak
Singh. They all lived at RZ/WZ-241 Raj Nagar, Palam Colony which was
located near the Raj Nagar Gurudwara.

Raj Nagar Gurudwara incident and killing of Nirmal Singh

17. As already noted, in the forenoon of 31st October 1984, Smt. Indira
Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, was assassinated by two of her
Sikh bodyguards. According to PW-10, on that date, there were no
untoward incidents in Raj Nagar except for a few stray ones here and there.
She went on to depose that at around 6:30 pm, A-2 and A-6, who
introduced themselves as the nephews of A-1, came to her residence to
meet her father Nirmal Singh who ran a taxi stand at Anand Niketan and
operated a transportation business. They asked that A-6 be employed as a
driver by him. Nirmal Singh informed them that he had no vacancies at
present but would inform them should any such vacancy arise.

18. PW-10 then stated that at around 2:30 to 3 am on 1st November 1984,
the Granthi of the Raj Nagar Gurudwara came to their residence and
informed her father, who was the President of the Gurudwara, that police
personnel had come to the Gurudwara. When Nirmal Singh and his wife
Sampuran Kaur went to the Gurudwara, the police personnel there informed
them that they had been deployed to safeguard the Gurudwara as the
situation at the time was not congenial to Sikhs. PW-10 deposed that she
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 13 of 203
herself went to the Gurudwara for morning prayers at around 5 to 5:30 am
on 1st November 1984, at which time the police personnel were present
there. She stated that during the prayers, the police personnel disappeared
without any intimation. Thereafter, at around 7:30 to 8 am, a mob led by
A-2, A-3, and the owner of one Mamta Bakery attacked the Gurudwara
whilst armed with sariyas, rods, subbal, jellies, etc. and raising slogans
such as “Indira Gandhi amar rahe” and “In sardaron ko maro, inhone
hamari maa ko mara hai”.

19. Apprehensive that the mob would dishonour the Guru Granth Saheb,
PW-10 and her brother Nirmolak Singh rushed to the Gurudwara so as to
pick up the Guru Granth Saheb. They were set upon by the mob but were
able to escape its clutches. PW-10 stated that, as she and her brother were
going towards their residence, A-3 and the owner of Mamta Bakery pointed
to her and her brother and said to the mob, “Isse maron, ye saap ka bachha
hai”. The mob followed them to their residence and caused damage to the
walls and the gate of their house. Nirmal Singh and his wife came to the aid
of their children.

20. Thereafter, PW-10 stated that some members of the mob set fire to a
truck belonging to Harbans Singh. Nirmal Singh raised an alarm and upon
hearing this, Harbans Singh came out of his house and put out the fire. She
went on to state that the Sikh residents of the area defended themselves for
2 to 3 hours with the mob attacking from three sides before the police
personnel reached there.

21. According to her, A-2, A-3, and A-6 then came to the spot and sought a
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 14 of 203
compromise. However, Nirmal Singh and the other members of the Sikh
community did not agree to do so. The police personnel present asked both
groups to reach a compromise and left the spot after taking away the
kirpans from the Sikhs who had assembled there to defend their
Gurudwara. Thereafter, Nirmal Singh went with A-2 and A-3 on a scooter.
PW-10 stated that, apprehending danger, she ran behind the scooter and
saw that they had stopped near the shop of one Dhanraj where a mob had
gathered. There, A-2 purportedly said that he had brought with him the last
remaining Sikh from the area, i.e. Nirmal Singh. The mob doused him in
kerosene oil but they were unable to find any match sticks to set him on
fire. At this time, one of the police personnel present there, Inspector
Kaushik, allegedly shouted at the mob: “Doob maro, tumse ek sardar bhi
nahin jalta”. He then gave a match box to A-6 who set fire to Nirmal Singh.
When the mob started moving along, Nirmal Singh jumped in a nearby
nala. Noticing that he was still alive, the mob returned and A-4 tied him to
a telephone pole and he was again set on fire. He again managed to jump in
the nala. According to PW-10, the mob returned once again upon being
told of this and A-2 began hitting Nirmal Singh with a rod while A-3
sprinkled some white powder (phosphorus) on him, causing burns. When
someone shouted that Nirmal Singh‟s family should be killed as well, PW-
10 rushed back to her house where she found her mother lying unconscious.
The house itself was burning and, according to her, the police personnel
standing nearby did not help. With the help of one Santok Singh Sandhu
who was serving in the Air Force, PW-10 and her family fled to the Air
Force Station, Palam in an Air Force vehicle.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 15 of 203

22. Therefore, from the deposition of PW-10, two incidents emerge. The
first is the attack on the Raj Nagar Gurudwara in the morning of
1st November 1984 and the second, the killing of Nirmal Singh. However, it
is pertinent to note at this stage that the killing of Nirmal Singh does not
form part of the subject matter of these appeals.

23. Joginder Singh (PW-7) was also a resident of the area and has also
deposed about the burning of the Raj Nagar Gurudwara. He stated that at
around 7:30 am on 1st November 1984, he and his wife were exiting the
Gurudwara when they saw a mob coming from the Mehrauli Road side. He
identified A-2, A-3, A-4, A-6, one Raja Ram, and one Gulati as being
members of the mob which was armed with lathis, rods, jellies, pipes, etc.
He stated that he along with some other men from the Sikh community
assembled in front of the Gurudwara armed with their kirpans when they
heard that it was under attack. He then stated that the house of one Jasbir
Singh was looted and the truck of Harbans Singh was burned. He deposed
that the police came two hours later and took the swords of the Sikhs away.
The mob led by A-2, A-3, and A-6 again came to the spot. He stated that
A-2 and A-3, who were on a scooter, caught hold of Nirmal Singh and told
him that they wanted to talk to him so as to settle the matter. Thereafter,
PW-7 stated, they took Nirmal Singh away while he went back home.

24. Therefore, as regards the incident at and near the Raj Nagar Gurudwara,
PWs 7 and 10 have identified A-2, A-3, A-4, and A-6 as being part of the
mob which attacked and burned the Gurudwara.

Murders at Shiv Mandir Marg
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 16 of 203

25. PW-1, the wife of Kehar Singh and mother of Gurpreet Singh, deposed
that on the morning of 1st November 1984, she had been told not to permit
her husband or sons to leave the house as the atmosphere outside was
unsafe and Sikhs were being attacked. On the advice of Gurpreet Singh, she
took her three daughters and younger son Gurdeep Singh to the house of
one of her neighbours, Ram Avtar Sharma (PW-3), where she found her
cousin PW-6 also taking shelter.

26. PW-1 stated that at around 1:30 to 2 pm, a mob entered her house from
all sides armed with sariyas, gaintis, and other lethal weapons. She stated
that they pounced upon her son Gurpreet Singh and dragged her husband,
effectively crushing his head, till he dropped dead. Her son, who had
sustained injuries, ran some distance down the street before he was attacked
again and set on fire. PW-1 has identified, from among the accused in the
present case, A-2 as being part of that mob along with some others.

27. After shifting her son‟s body which was lying on the street back into her
house with the help of PWs 3 and 6, PW-1 went to the nearby Police Post
(„PP‟) where the Assistant Sub Inspector („ASI‟) present allegedly said,
“Bhag yahan se, abhi to aur marenge, jab sab mar jaenge jo kuch hoga
sabka ekattha hoga”. She returned home at around 6 pm. Shortly thereafter,
PW-3 turned her children out of his house due to his fear of being targeted
by the mob. She hid her children under a blanket on the roof of her house
and kept saying her prayers.

28. She went on to depose that a mob kept banging on the doors of the
house of Rajni Bala (DW-2) throughout the night, asking for the
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 17 of 203
“thekedars”. PW-1 apprehended that this was in reference to her cousin
brothers – PW-6, Narender Pal Singh, Raghuvinder Singh, and Kuldeep
Singh. She stated that at around 7:30 am on 2nd November 1984, Narender
Pal Singh jumped onto the street adjoining her house and was followed by
Raghuvinder Singh and Kuldeep Singh. This was seen by one Dharamvir (a
member of the mob which attacked her house) who raised an alarm that the
“thekedars” were running away. Upon hearing this, A-4, A-5, and one
Subedar Balidan Singh (Retd.) came along with a mob armed with lathis.
PW-1 states that she saw that Narender Pal Singh was injured with lathi
blows and then burned. This, she stated, happened near her house. She also
stated that she saw her other two cousin brothers, Raghuvinder Singh and
Kuldeep Singh, being attacked and taken away by the mob. Fearing for the
safety of herself and her children, she closed the door and stated that she
did not see anything thereafter.

29. At around 9 am on 2nd November 1984, when she went to lodge a report
at the PP, she saw that a public meeting was taking place which was
attended by A-1 who was the local Member of Parliament („MP‟). She
heard him declare, “Sikh sala ek nahin bachna chahiye, jo Hindu bhai unko
sharan deta hai, uska ghar bhi jala do aur unko bhi maro”. She stated that
she also heard the officer-in-charge of the PP ask members of the mob
“kitne murge bhun diye”. She stated that at this point, she lost faith in
humanity.

30. PW-6 had also deposed as to both these incidents of murders at Shiv
Mandir Marg. He stated that on the morning of 1st November 1984, he and

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his brothers were informed by DW-2 and others not to leave the house. He
stated that DW-2 asked them to come to her house till such time as
normalcy returned. Therefore, he and his family members went to her
house.

31. He then stated that, at some stage, he returned to his house to park his
motorcycle inside the house. He then claimed that, when returning to
DW-2‟s house, he saw a mob coming from the direction of Palam Village
heading towards Shiv Mandir Marg. He further claimed that the mob was
raising slogans such as “In Sikhon ko maro; in gaddaron ko maro;
Hindustan mein ek sikh bhi jinda nahi bachna chahiyen”. Not wanting to
cross the road, he stated that he entered the house of PW-3.

32. Ten minutes later, he heard shrieks and loud voices from outside. He
stated that, from the window above the bed in the room in which he was
hiding, he saw the mob armed with lathis and sariyas enter the house of
PW-1. He saw the mob drag Kehar Singh and Gurpreet Singh. He stated
that Kehar Singh, who fell down inside the house itself, was being hit with
iron rods. He further claimed that Gurpreet Singh, in a bid to rescue
himself, ran towards a small street in front of the house. However, some
members of the mob caught hold of him and beat him with iron rods and
killed him. He stated that he helped his cousin PW-1 move the body of
Gurpreet Singh back into their house using a cot. He claimed that he
thereafter remained in the house of PW-3 till 10 pm.

33. PW-6 further deposes that in the evening of 1 st November 1984, the
mob again came to his house, broke the gate, peeked inside, and thereafter
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left having found the house empty. When he left the house of PW-3 at
around 10 pm, he saw an Ambassador car which stopped at the turning onto
Shiv Mandir Marg. He stated that 30-40 persons gathered around the car
from which emerged A-1 who enquired as to whether “they have done the
work”. Thereafter, it is stated, A-1 approached the house of PW-6 to inspect
it and came back and told the assembled mob that they had “only broken
the gate of the thekedars‟ house”. One of the members of the mob then
allegedly informed him that “the thekedars are being saved by the Hindus
only”. Upon hearing this, A-1 is stated to have instructed the mob to burn
the houses of the Hindus who were sheltering the Sikhs. He then left in his
car.

34. After A-1‟s departure, the mob proceeded to loot and ransack the house
of PW-6 and his brothers. They set fire to a motorcycle and a scooter and,
ultimately, the house itself. The fire caused damage to the electric cables
running above the house, causing the electricity to shut down. Thereafter,
the mob went to the house of DW-2 and then to the house of PW-3,
accusing them of sheltering Sikhs. The mob ultimately retreated but kept
roaming in the area.

35. PW-6 then stated that at around 5 am on 2nd November 1984, PW-3
brought a car in order to rescue the three cousins of PW-1 under the cover
of darkness but was unable to do so due to the mob‟s presence in the area.
At around 6 am, PW-3 turned PW-6 out of his house, fearing for his own
safety. PW-6 then stated that he went towards the gali where Gurpreet
Singh was killed. There he saw a Sikh man wrapped in a woollen shawl

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being chased by a group of people. The mob caught up with that man and
started beating him with rods and then set him on fire. After the crowd
dispersed, PW-6 was able to identify the man who had been killed as his
brother Narender Pal Singh. He was able to do so by recognising his
wristwatch.

36. PW-6 deposed that in a bid to save his other two brothers, he went
through various streets till he reached Palam Colony Railway Gate. From
there, he took a lift to Gopinath Bazar where he went to the house of
Major Dhanraj Yadav, Garrison Engineer (East) (DW-1) who he knew,
having worked under him as an MES contractor. He stated that DW-1
agreed to accompany him in his search for the other two deceased. They
took a vehicle from the Parade Ground with 7-8 jawans from the Sikh
Regiment and reached near PW-6‟s house in Raj Nagar around 10 am. PW-
6 stated that he enquired from PW-3 as to the whereabouts of his other two
brothers. He was told that they too were killed at Dada Chatriwala Marg.
PW-6 and DW-1 reached there and found the bodies of his two brothers,
Raghuvinder Singh and Kuldeep Singh. He was able to identify them by
their clothing.

37. PW-6 then deposed that he returned to the house of DW-2 and retrieved
his bhabhis and two children from there and made them sit in the Army
vehicle which had been brought by DW-1. He also retrieved PW-1, her
younger son, and three daughters and made them sit in the vehicle.
Thereafter, they all went to the Parade Ground. DW-1 took them to his
house where they stayed for two nights. PW-1, however, decided to return

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to Raj Nagar on the same evening, leaving her children with PW-6 at
DW-1‟s house.

38. PW-1 was dropped by DW-1 at the PP Palam Colony in Raj Nagar at
around 6 to 7 pm on 2nd November 1984. She stated that while waiting to
lodge a report, she realised that the officer-in-charge of the PP was
complicit with the mob and decided to leave. She went to her house and
saw that 1000-watt bulbs had been installed in the neighbourhood, making
it impossible for anyone to hide. Feeling unsafe, she started to walk down
Mehrauli Road where she found a group of people sitting around a bonfire.
She asked for Om Prakash, an employee of her husband. When he
identified himself, she asked him if she could stay at his house to which he
reluctantly agreed.

39. Having spent the night in Om Prakash‟s house, PW-1 returned to her
house at around 8 am on 3rd November 1984. Thereafter, with the help of
some people, she cremated the bodies of her deceased husband and son.
She then narrates that she was taken away from the area hidden in a police
vehicle to PP Palam Colony where the in-charge, in the presence of Air
Force personnel, recorded her report in a few lines and obtained her
signatures on blank papers as he claimed he was short of time and would
prepare the report later. PW-1 then went to Gurudwara Sadar, Delhi
Cantonment. From there she went to the house of DW-1 where she spent
the night with her bhabhis and children. The next morning, she returned to
Gurudwara Sadar, Delhi Cantonment with her children. At 4 pm on
4th November 1984, PW-6 shifted PW-1 and her children to the Air Force

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Gurudwara. She stayed there and then in Moti Bagh Gurudwara till
12th December 1984 when she left Delhi and went to Punjab.

Inconclusive investigation and subsequent Commissions of Inquiry

40. Nothing appears to have come of the report lodged by PW-1 at PP
Palam Colony. PW-6 also stated that his father, the late Gurcharan Singh,
had filed a complaint with the police but no statement was recorded.

41. FIR No. 416/1984 was registered at PS Delhi Cantonment on
4th November 1984 on the complaint of one Daljit Kaur who spoke about a
mob of 400-500 people attacking her house on 1st November 1984 which
resulted in injuries to her parents. There was another attack on her house on
2nd November 1984 in which her father was set on fire by the mob on the
instigation of her neighbour, Mahender Sharabi. Several complaints
pertaining to the killing of Sikhs and the burning and looting of their
properties were clubbed with FIR No.416/1984. However, it appears that
the investigation into the said FIR remained inconclusive.

42. On 25th March 1985, five charge sheets were filed by the Delhi Police
based on the statement of Daljit Kaur. Thereafter, a series of Committees
and Commissions were set up for the purpose of conducting inquiries into
the circumstances surrounding the violence that took place in the aftermath
of the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi.

43. The Marwaha Committee headed by Mr. Ved Marwaha began recording
the statements of victims as well as the police officers involved. However,
before the said Committee could complete the exercise, the Central

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Government set up a one-man Commission under the Commissions of
Inquiry Act 1952 („CoI Act‟) comprising Justice Ranganath Misra. The
statements recorded by the Marwaha Committee were to be handed over
and examined by the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission. But, for
unexplained reasons, this was not done.

44. PW-1 submitted an affidavit dated 7th September 1985 before the
Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-1/A) in which she stated that
her son and husband were killed by a mob on 1 st November 1984. She
described the mob as being well organised and named A-2 as being
involved in the murders of her husband and son. She also named A-4 and
A-5 as being part of the mob involved in the murders of her three cousin
brothers.

45. According to the prosecution, although the above charge sheets ended
in acquittals in 1986 itself, this was a mere eyewash as a result of
manipulation, both by the Delhi Police and the prosecution. In 1992, the
Jain-Aggarwal Committee in its report recommended, inter alia, further
investigations into the cases concerning the attack on the house of Jasbir
Singh and the incident involving the deaths of Kehar Singh, Gurpreet
Singh, Narender Pal Singh, Raghuvinder Singh, and Kuldeep Singh.

46. In the matter of the attack on the house of Jasbir Singh, a supplementary
charge sheet was filed on 26th February 1993 against four accused, viz.
Sunil Tiwari @ Raju, Hukum Chand, Mangat Ram, and Balwan Khokar.
This was tried as Special Case No.28/1993. However, that trial also ended
in their acquittal by a judgment dated 30th April 1994.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 24 of 203

47. Furthermore, there is also a statement attributed to PW-1 made before
the Delhi Police on 20th January 1985. This statement was originally
recorded in Urdu and therein she states that her son and husband were
killed by a mob of 250-300 men but she could not identify any of the
people who were part of the mob. She stated that she could identify them if
they were brought before her. This statement has been denied by the CBI.
At this stage it is pertinent to note that, according to the defence in the
present case, PW-1 also allegedly gave a statement to the Special Riots
Cell, Malviya Nagar on 31st December 1992 under Section 161 Cr PC. This
too, however, is disputed by the CBI.

The Justice Nanavati Commission and subsequent investigation by CBI

48. In May 2000, the Justice Nanavati Commission was constituted. Its
report was submitted on 9th February 2005. PW-1, PW-10, and Sampuran
Kaur (wife of the deceased Nirmal Singh) were among those who made
statements before the Justice Nanavati Commission. The following excerpt
from the report of the Justice Nanavati Commission speaks of the role of
A-1 as under:

“Many witnesses have stated about the involvement of S/Shri
Sajjan Kumar, Balwan Khokar, Pratap Singh, Maha Singh and
Mohinder Singh in the riots in areas like Palam Colony, Tilak
Vihar, Raj Nagar etc. It was alleged that the mobs indulging in
riots were led by Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan Khokhar
and other Congress leaders. Police did not even record the
complaints of the victims/witnesses against them. Instead
complaints of losses were recorded by the Police. Other local
persons who have been named by the witnesses as the persons
who had taken a leading part in the attacks on Sikhs are
Rohtas, Ram Kumar and Ved Prakash.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 25 of 203

The Commission is, therefore, inclined to take the view that
there is credible material against Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri
Balwan Khokhar for recording a finding that he, and Shri
Balwan Khokhar were probably involved as alleged by the
witnesses. The DSGPC and CJC have also drawn the attention
of the Commission to some cases where Shri Sajjan Kumar
though named was not charge sheeted or they were closed as
untraced. No useful purpose can now be served by directing
registration of those cases where the witnesses complaining
about the same were examined before the courts and yet the
accused were acquitted by the Courts. The Commission
therefore recommends to the Government to examine only
those cases where the witnesses have accused Shri Sajjan
Kumar specifically and yet no charge sheets were filed against
him and the cases were terminated as untraced and if there is
justification for the same take further action as is permitted by
law. Those cases which were closed as untraced and which still
deserve to be reexamined are those which would arise from
FIR Nos. 250/84, 307/94 and 347/91 of police station
Sultanpuri, FIR Nos. 325/93, 329/93, 178/84 of police station
Mangolpuri and FIR No. 416/84 of police station Delhi Cantt.”

49. Similar observations were made in respect of two other leaders of the
Congress. On 24th October 2005, a letter was sent by the Secretary (H) in
the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Director, CBI as under:

“In reply to the discussion held in the Lok Sabha on 10 th
August 2005 and the Rajya Sabha on 11th August 2005 on the
Report of Justice Nanavati Commission of Inquiry into 1984
anti-Sikh riots, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had
given an assurance that wherever the Commission has named
any specific individuals as needing further examination or re-
opening of case the Government will take all possible steps to
do so within the ambit of law.

2. The matter has accordingly been examined and it is
observed that the Report of Justice Nanavati Commission, inter
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alia, contains recommendations regarding investigation/
reinvestigation of the cases against (a) Shri Dharam Das
Shastri, (b) Shri Jagdish Tytler, and (c) Shri Sajjan Kumar. I
am enclosing a copy of the Report of Justice Nanavati
Commission along with the relevant extracts of the Report
against these persons.

3. It has been decided by the Government that the work of
conducting further investigation/reinvestigation against (a)
Shri Dharam Das Shastri, (b) Shri Jagdish Tytler, and (c) Shri
Sajjan Kumar as per the recommendations of the Justice
Nanavati Commission should be entrusted to the CBI.

4. I am accordingly enclosing the relevant records (as per list)
connected with the cases against these persons as were
available in this Ministry. Additional records/information
required in connection with investigations might be obtained
from Delhi Police.”

50. Inspector Rakesh (DW-17), who was a part of the Special Riots Cell,
Delhi Police, deposed that he attempted to join PW-1 in the investigation
and even issued a notice to her under Section 160 Cr PC (Ex.PW-1/DY).
Thereunder, an endorsement was supposedly made on behalf of PW-1 by
her son Gurdeep Singh to whom she dictated her refusal to join the
investigation. Eventually, an untraced report was filed by Inspector Sunil
Kumar Vashisht (DW-15) and thereafter, a closure report (Ex.DW-15/A)
was also filed on 7th September 2005.

51. The letter dated 24th October 2005 extracted hereinabove was issued in
pursuance of the discussions held in both Houses of Parliament on 10 th and
11th August 2005 wherein demands were made for further action to be
taken on the recommendations of the Justice Nanavati Commission.

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Consequently, the investigation of the matter was entrusted to the CBI and,
on 22nd November 2005, RC No.SI-1/2005/S0024 was registered at PS
Delhi Cantonment.

The charge sheet

52. On 13th January 2010, the CBI filed the charge sheet in which it set out
the details of the earlier cases which had ended in acquittals as under:

S.No. Complainant Deceased Sp. Accused Verdict Dt. of
Case judgment
No.
1. Smt. Daljit Kaur Avtar Singh 10/86 – Balwan Khokhar Acquittal 15.7.1986
2. Smt. Swaran Harbhajan 11/86 – Dhanpat Acquittal 28.5.1986
Kaur Singh – Ved Prakash
– Shiv Charan
– Ramji Lal
Sharma
3. Smt. Jagir Kaur Joga Singh 31/86 – Vidyanand Acquittal 29.4.1986
– Balwan Khokhar
– Mahender Singh
Yadav
4. Smt. Sampuran Nirmal Singh 32/86 – Dhanraj Acquittal 17.5.1986
Kaur – Mahender Singh
– Balwan Khokhar
– Mahender Singh
Yadav
5. Smt. Baljit Kaur Avtar Singh 33/86 – Mahender Yadav Acquittal 4.10.1986
– Ram Kumar

53. The charge sheet summarised the recommendations of the Justice
Nanavati Commission as under:

“16.6 During the proceedings, the Commission took note of
the depositions/affidavits of Smt. Jagdish Kaur, Sh. Sudarshan
Singh Sh. Jasbir Singh and observed that „many witnesses
have stated about the involvement of Sajjan Kumar. Smt.
Jagdish Kaur, Sudarshan Singh and many persons from Raj
Nagar, Palam Colony have spoken about the participation of
Shri Sajjan Kumar and Balwan Khokhar in the riots in that
area. Jagdish Kaur of Raj Nagar has stated that she had heard
Sajjan Kumar telling the persons “Sardar sala koi nahin bachna
chahiye”.’ Jasbir Singh of Raj Nagar had also spoken about the
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involvement of Sajjan Kumar and Balwan Khokhar and further
stated that even though he had gone with a written complaint
naming the assailants, the police did not take down his
complaint and Sajjan Kumar was not put up for trial.

16.7 The Commission concluded that there is credible material
against Sajjan Kumar and Balwan Khokhar for recording a
finding that he and Balwan Khokhar were probably involved
as alleged by the witnesses. Thus, the Commission
recommended to the Government to examine only those cases
and take further action in them as permitted by the Law, in
which the witnesses had accused Sajjan Kumar specifically
and yet no chargesheets were filed against him and the cases
were terminated as untraced.

16.8 After considering the findings of the Nanavati
Commission, the Govt of India, Ministry of Home Affairs vide
order dated 24.10.2005 directed the CBI to investigate/re-
investigate the cases against Sajjan Kumar including FIR
No.416/84 dated 4.11.1984 of PS Delhi Cantt., Delhi.
Accordingly, case FIR No.416/84 of PS Delhi Cantt. Was re-
registered by CBI as case RC-24(S)/2005-SCU.I/SCR.I on
22.11.2005 and investigation was taken up.”

54. The details of the investigation undertaken by the CBI pursuant to the
registration of the case were then set out in the charge sheet. Reference was
made to the statement of PW-7 who spoke of an unlawful assembly of
around 2000 persons in Raj Nagar, Palam Colony at around 7 am on
1st November 1984 with the intention to loot, damage, and burn the
properties of the Sikh community and to kill Sikhs and burn their bodies. It
was stated that, pursuant to this common object, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-6, and
one Raja Ram (since deceased) were part of a mob armed with guns, jellies,
iron rods, lathis, etc. which attacked the Raj Nagar Gurudwara and set it on
fire.

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55. The charge sheet then narrated how the mob went on to burn the houses
and vehicles belonging to the Sikh community. Referring to the killing of
Nirmal Singh, the charge sheet stated that he was caught hold of by A-2, A-
3, and A-6 and taken near the shop of Dhanraj where he was assaulted by a
mob which included A-4 and then burnt alive after being doused in
kerosene oil.

56. The charge sheet then described the killing of Kehar Singh and his son
Gurdeep Singh on 1st November 1984 by an unlawful assembly led by A-2,
Maha Singh, Santosh Rani @ Janta Hawaldarni, Ishwar Chand @ Chand
Sarabi (since deceased), and Dharamveer Singh (since deceased). The
charge sheet then stated, as spoken to by PW-6, that A-1 arrived at Raj
Nagar, in pursuance of the aforementioned common object, at around 10-
11 pm on 1st November 1984 and instigated the mob by exhorting them to
not allow any Sikh to go alive and to not spare even Hindus who were
providing shelter to Sikhs.

57. The charge sheet also stated that after A-1 left, the mob looted
household articles from the house of PW-6 and set it on fire. It also
mentioned the subsequent attack on the house of DW-2 where the three
deceased, Raghuvinder Singh, Narender Pal Singh, and Kuldeep Singh, had
taken shelter.

58. The charge sheet then referred to their murders on 2nd November 1984
by a mob comprising A-4, A-5, Dharamveer (since deceased), and Balidan
Singh (since deceased). It is mentioned that this was witnessed by PW-1.

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She also was a witness to A-1 addressing a meeting of his followers at
around 10 am on 2nd November 1984 near police post (PP) Manglapuri
Mandir, exhorting them to not leave any Sikh alive and to kill even those
who had given shelter to them. It is further stated that this fact was
corroborated by PW-10. Thereafter, the following conclusions were
recorded in the chargesheet:

“16.14 The investigation further established that provocative
speeches, with common object as aforesaid, made by Sajjan
Kumar (A-1) to the mob gathered in Raj Nagar area, promoted
immediate and violent enmity amongst the public against Sikhs
and disturbed the harmony between the two religious
groups/communities of the locality resulting into killing of
Sikhs and burning/looting of their houses/properties. Thus,
Sajjan Kumar (A-1) instigated the mob and other accused
persons including Balwan Khokhar (A-2), Mahender Yadav
(A-3), Maha Singh (A-4), Baghmal (A-5), Santosh Rani ©
Janta Hawaldarni (A-6), Girdhari Lal (A-7), Krishan Khokhar
(A-8), lshwar Chand Gaur @ Chand Sharabi (since expired),
Balidan Singh (since expired), Dharamveer Singh (since
expired), Raja Ram (since expired) and other unknown persons
formed an unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapons like
iron rods, lathis, kerosene oil, etc. for the purpose of
committing various criminal acts of murder, dacoity and
destruction of the property of Sikh Community. The said
unlawful assembly also defiled the Gurudwara in Raj Nagar
area with intention to insult the religion of Sikh community.”

The trial Court’s judgment

59. Subsequently, charges were framed by the trial Court on 24th May 2010
in the manner referred to hereinabove. The examination of prosecution
witnesses commenced with the examination-in-chief of PW-1 on
1st July 2010. Among the 17 witnesses examined by the prosecution were
Additional Superintendent of Police („Addl. SP‟) Manoj Pangarkar (PW-

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 31 of 203

15) of the CBI and Deputy Superintendent of Police („Dy. SP‟) Anil Kumar
Yadav (PW-17) of the CBI who prepared the charge sheet. The two
Metropolitan Magistrates („MMs‟) who recorded the statements of PWs 1,
6, 7, and 10 under Section 164 Cr PC were examined as PWs 13 and 14.

60. The statements of the accused under Section 313 Cr PC were recorded
and reference to these shall be made subsequently when this Court
considers each of the appeals of the accused independently. In all, 17
defence witnesses were examined. Their depositions will be discussed
along with the individual cases of the accused on behalf of whom they were
examined.

61. In the impugned judgment dated 30th April 2013, the trial Court came to
the following conclusions:

(i) Judicial notice could be taken from the Justice Nanavati Commission
report of the fact that there were as many as 341 killings in the Delhi
Cantonment area and five of those killings form the subject matter of
the present case.

(ii) From the Daily Diary Register („DDR‟) (Ex. PW-16/A) maintained
at Police Post (PP) Palam Colony, it appeared that “not a single
incident of any killing or any property destroyed was recorded by the
police”. The police appeared to be privy to the incident of rioting and
remained a silent spectator.

(iii) The police arrived at the Raj Nagar Gurudwara and disarmed the
Sikhs of their kirpans and soon thereafter the mob again arrived
there. There was no reason to disbelieve the testimony of PW-7 on

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this point, which reflects a serious lapse on the part of the police
entrusted with the law enforcement duty.

(iv) Although the mandate of the law was that each incident of crime has
to be separately registered by the police and then investigated, it
appears that all complaints were clubbed in FIR No.416/1984
registered on 4th November 1984 at PS Delhi Cantonment.

(v) The intention of the police was clear from the cyclostyled report
(Ex.PW-1/D) which was submitted to the SHO by PW-1 in which the
claim on account of the assessed damage to the house was stated as
Rs.45,000/- and to the household articles was stated as Rs.1,25,000/-.
It appeared as though the police had convinced victims that the
killing of their family members was merely an opportunity to bargain
for monetary relief. This was another reflection of the police‟s total
inaction.

(vi) Balwinder Singh (PW-4) had submitted two reports dated
12th November 1984 (Ex.PW-4/A B) to the SHO of PS Delhi
Cantonment about the killing of his two brothers Raghuvinder Singh
and Narender Pal Singh as well as the killing of Kuldeep Singh.
Specific mention was made in these reports of A-4, A-5, Balidan
Singh, Dharamveer Singh, Ashok, and Chand. However, no FIR was
registered in this regard.

(vii) The evidence of PWs 1, 6, and 10 had to be appreciated in the
peculiar background of no action being taken by the police in FIR
No.416/1984 or in respect of the numerous complaints that had been
clubbed with it.

(viii) The evidence of PW-1 was most natural and without exaggeration or
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 33 of 203
falsehood. There was no inconsistency in the narration of facts by
PW-1 in her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra
Commission as well as what she had deposed in the Court. There
was a ring of truth to the testimony of PW-1 when she spoke about
witnessing the assault on her husband and son which resulted in their
deaths on 1st November 1984. Her testimony was corroborated by
that of PWs 3 and 6. PW-1 identified A-2 along with others as being
members of the mob which killed her husband and son. There was no
reason why she would substitute the assailants‟ names which also
appear in Ex.PW-4/AB which were given to the police on
3rd November 1984.

(ix) There was also no reason to disbelieve the testimony of PW-1 that
she herself performed the cremation of her husband and son on
3rd November 1984 by preparing the funeral pyre using furniture and
household articles available in the house. Her evidence proved that
A-2 was part of the rioting mob and had committed the murder of her
husband Kehar Singh and son Gurpreet Singh. PW-1 was also
believable with regard to her eye witness account of murder of her
cousins Narender Pal Singh, Raghuvinder Singh, and Kuldeep Singh.
She named A-4 and A-5 along with others as being members of the
mob which killed them. Her evidence that Narender Pal Singh was
assaulted and killed by the mob was corroborated by PW-3.

(x) The charges of rioting against the accused stood proved when
examined in light of the testimonies of PWs 7 and 10 as well as
Manjit Singh (PW-12). It was concluded:

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“It is a matter of fact that Sardar Nirmal Singh taken
away by accused persons from that place was later on
found murdered but then that criminal offence of murder
of Nirmal Singh stood tried separately as FIR 416/84
wherein present case witness PW10 Nirpreet Kaur
daughter of Nirmal Singh and Smt. Sampuran Kaur wife
of Nirmal Singh had been cited as eyewitness and that
trial ended by an order of acquittal and admittedly
Nirpreet Kaur and Sampuran Kaur shad not been
examined in that trial and that acquittal judgement had
been passed in 1986 itself. Testimony of PW7 is
acceptable to the extent and effect of the rioting mob
appeared near Gurudwara on 02.11.1984 and accused of
the present case namely Bhagmal, Balwan Khokar,
Krishan Khokar and Mahender Yadav were part of that
rioting mob and mob was armed with weapons, lathis,
and sarias.”

(xi) However, there were reservations in accepting and believing the
testimony of PW-7 with respect to the attack on the Raj Nagar
Gurudwara since no evidence was available as to “what extent that
burning damage to the Gurudwara had occurred”. There was also no
further evidence as to whether the truck of Harbans Singh was “set
on fire by the mob on that occasion”. The evidence of PW-7 was held
to have been corroborated by PW-10.It was concluded that:

“there was a rioting mob and it was armed with weapons
like lathis and rods and they did indulge in violence.
Accordingly I find these accused persons namely Balwan
Khokar, Krishan Khokar, Mahender Yadav and Captain
Bhagmal are liable to be convicted for offences of rioting
and the unlawful assembly of those rioters armed with
deadly weapons and this offence committed by accused
on 01.11.1984 at around 7.30 pm near Gurudwara
Rajnagar stands duly proved and these four accused
persons are liable to be convicted u/S 147 and 148 IPC.”

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(xii) As regards the specific role of A-1, the contention of the defence that
the averment in the second page of the affidavit of PW-1
(Ex.PW-1/B) attributing specific words spoken by A-1 at Mandir
Manglapuri on the morning of 2nd November 1984 appeared to be
manipulated when seen in the context of her statement (Ex.PW-1/C)
made on 8th January 2002 was “not to be brushed aside”. Her
statement suggested that the information concerning A-1 was based
on hearsay.

(xiii) If indeed PW-1 witnessed A-1 speaking those words, then in the first
instance before the Justice Nanavati Commission, she would have
disclosed it. If A-1 was involved in the incident, then in the report
submitted by PW-4 to the police on 12th November 1984, his role
ought to have been mentioned.

(xiv) The deposition of PW-6 in the Court was an improvement on his
statement under Section 161 Cr PC in which he had not specifically
stated that he came out of the house of PW-3 and happened to see
and hear A-1. It was for the first time, after 23 years, that PW-6
named A-1. Therefore, there was a serious doubt as to the veracity of
PW-6 as regards A-1‟s role.

(xv) Even PW-10 named A-1 for the first time after a long period in her
statement under Section 161 Cr PC which was recorded some time in
2007. When her statement initially was recorded in 1985, she had not
named A-1 at all.

(xvi) Apart from conspiring and abetting, no other act or role had been
attributed to A-1. In her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra
Commission, PW-1 did not mention A-1 in any manner, although the
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other accused had been named. In the circumstances, the testimony
of PW-1 that she had heard and seen A-1 addressing a gathering with
provocative and instigating utterances was not acceptable and
believable.

62. After recording the aforementioned findings in its judgment, the trial
Court proceeded to acquit A-1 of all charges while convicting the other
accused, i.e. A-2 to A-6, in the manner indicated hereinbefore. The
convicted accused were sentenced in terms of the order on sentence dated
9th May 2013 in the manner indicated hereinbefore.

Appeals against the acquittal of A-1

63. At the outset, this Court notes that the following order was passed by
this Court on 27th August 2013 in Crl.A.850/2013 which was preferred by
PW-1 against the impugned judgment of the trial Court to the extent it
acquitted A-1 of all charges:

“Learned senior counsel for the appellants submits that he has
instructions to withdraw the present appeal in case the
appellants are permitted to address arguments in the appeal
filed by the State and also permitted to raise the grounds of
appeal as mentioned in the present appeal. It may be noticed
that by a separate order passed in Criminal Leave to Appeal
No.385/2013 filed by the State, this court has granted leave to
appeal to the appellant / State.

Accordingly, present appeal is dismissed as withdrawn, with
the following agreed directions:

(i) Appellants would be entitled to be represented before
this court at the time of hearing of the appeal filed by the
State and would be entitled to raise all grounds which
have been raised in the present appeal.

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(ii) A copy of the grounds of appeal will be tagged with
Criminal Appeal filed by the State, which is yet to be
registered.

(iii) All grounds urged in the instant appeal bearing
Crl.A.850/2013 will be considered by the Court at the
time of hearing of the appeal filed by the State.

(iv) LCR and compilation of this case be tagged with the
appeal filed by the State.”

64. Consequently, this Court has heard the submissions of Mr. H. S.
Phoolka, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of PW-1 in the appeal
of CBI against the acquittal of A-1.

Prosecution’s submissions as regards A-1

65. The Court would first like to deal with the appeal filed by the CBI
against the acquittal of A-1 in which arguments have been addressed at
length by Mr. R. S. Cheema, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of
the CBI. He pointed out that the case had to be appreciated in the overall
context of the number of killings that took place in the capital city when
riots broke out on 31st October 1984 in the aftermath of Smt. Indira
Gandhi‟s assassination and continued till at least 4th November 1984 in
which thousands of Sikhs were murdered and their properties, and places of
worship, destroyed.

66. The very first FIR No.416/1984 was registered on a complaint by one
Daljit Kaur for rioting and burning of the house and beating and burning of
her husband Avtar Singh at Raj Nagar, Palam Colony by a mob on
2nd November 1984. Just in Delhi Cantonment area alone, a total of 21 FIRs
were registered. In FIR No.416/1984 itself, 22 other complaints were

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tagged and these pertained to 30 murders. Of the 341 people killed in the
Delhi Cantonment area which resulted in the registration of 21 FIRs, four of
them related to Raj Nagar. Only five dead bodies were recovered and this
was primarily due to the intervention of the Army. Therefore, post-mortem
examinations were conducted only in those five instances.

67. Although 341 Sikhs were killed in the Delhi Cantonment area, in the 21
FIRs registered at PS Delhi Cantonment, only 15 pertained to deaths and
murders. He pointed out that, in the first phase, Delhi Police had hardly
investigated these cases. In 1992, a Riots Cell was constituted by the Delhi
Police. In the second phase of investigation, a conscious attempt was made
to nullify the affidavit of PW-1. He submitted that these efforts have been
detailed in the testimonies of PWs 15 and 17.

68. Referring to the strange situation where separate cases were not
registered for each of the murders, Mr. Cheema submitted that the police
completely failed in its duty to act in accordance with law. Referring to
Section 157 Cr PC, he submitted that even if no person came forward to
give a complaint, the SHO in-charge of the PS would have to register a
complaint himself. In this regard, he referred to Section 157 (1) Cr PC
which begins with the words “If, from information received or otherwise,
an officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission
of an offence…”. There was a further obligation upon said officer to send a
report to a jurisdictional Magistrate. He made reference to the observations
of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh
(2014) 2 SCC 1.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 39 of 203

69. Mr. Cheema then discussed the statements of PW-1 made at various
stages. According to him, she was a woman of extraordinary courage who
made repeated attempts to report the matter to the appropriate authorities
even while exposing herself to palpable risk. She had no faith in the Delhi
Police and, from her point of view, there was no purpose in her pursuing or
asking for justice from a police force which had connived with the accused.

70. Mr. Cheema submitted that she was a woman with an extraordinary
memory. She was subjected to a long cross-examination running into 78
pages. According to Mr. Cheema, an objective evaluation of her testimony
showed that, despite the traumatising events and the long shadow of post-
riots existence, she could still recall the events with precision and this made
her a wholly reliable witness. Mr. Cheema pointed out that in the events
leading to the deaths of her husband Kehar Singh and her son Gurpreet
Singh, she only named A-2, out of the six accused facing trial, as being
present in the mob. Even in the events of 2nd November 1984, she named
A-4 and A-5 as being members of the mob that killed Narender Pal Singh,
Raghuvinder Singh, and Kuldeep Singh. She had no motive for false
implication and there was no possibility of any mistaken identity.

71. Mr. Cheema also pointed out that there was no effective challenge to
her status as an eye witness. She has been cross-examined extensively on
account of the delay and had given truthful and convincing details. She had
explained in her examination-in-chief on 2nd July 2010 as to what had
happened when she reached the PP on 3rd November 1984. Despite a
searching cross-examination, she consistently maintained having made that
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statement. The fact of her giving a complaint dated 3rd November 2004 was
spoken to by her before the Justice Nanavati Commission. This was
acknowledged by even the counsel for Delhi Police present at the time her
statement was being recorded before the Justice Nanavati Commission. The
depositions of PWs 15 and 17 also corroborated her testimony with regard
to the statement dated 3rd November 1984.

72. Mr. Cheema referred to the deposition of Head Constable („HC‟)
Rajender Singh (PW-16), one of the two officials at the PP Palam Colony
who was responsible for maintenance of the DDR. He proved the contents
of the DDR for the period between 24th/25th September 1984 and
6th/7th November 1984 exhibited as Ex.PW-16/A. In this entire register
pertaining to said period, not a single report of any untoward incident had
been recorded. When at least 30 persons were killed in the area and their
killings formed the subject matter of FIR No.416/1984, the silence of the
DDR on these details was “shockingly revealing”. Therefore, there was no
question of PW-1‟s statement being incorporated in the said register.

73. The prosecution proved each of the entries in Ex.PW-16/A.
Mr. Cheema invited attention to entry Ex.PW-16/F-18 dated
3rd November 1984 which showed that a Sub Inspector („SI‟), the author of
the entry, had returned from Safdarjung Hospital on his official motorcycle
having recorded the statements of Sardar Singh and Sarjit Singh in the said
hospital. It was recorded that, on 1st November 1984, some persons had
injured them in a quarrel. He referred to another Entry No.24 (Ex.PW-
16/G-24) dated 4th November 1984, recorded at 10:30 pm which gave

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details as to what transpired in the house of PW-3, as noted by SI Ram
Niwas. According to him, the DDR showed that the police personnel were
regularly going to the affected area, but intentionally did not report any
untoward incident. A meaningful look at the entries, according to him,
would show that in view of the disturbed condition, apart from the local
police, other forces, including the RAC, had been requisitioned.

74. Mr. Cheema further pointed out that PW-1 had denied having made the
statement dated 20th January 1985 (Ex.DW-4/B) which was purportedly
recorded by SI Arjun Singh and proved through ACP Ashok Kumar Saxena
(Retd.) (DW-4). Mr. Cheema pointed out that PW-1 was not even in Delhi
at that time and she had, in fact, given details as to her place of residence
from 12th December 1984 to November 1988. Even before the Justice
Nanavati Commission, she had stated that she had moved to Amritsar on
12th December 1984. Mr. Cheema pointed out that even PW-15 took a
forthright stand that the said statement was not proved and the veracity
thereof was doubtful. According to him, a reading of the Hindi version
showed that it had been tailor-made to screen the offenders. It indicated that
the assailants had entered by breaking the rear wall of the house and it was
silent about the murder of the three cousins of PW-1.

75. Turning to the purported statement of PW-1 dated 31st December 1992
(Ex. DW-16/A) which was recorded by the late Inspector B. D. Tyagi of the
Riot Cell, he pointed out that this again was denied by PW-1. The evidence
of PW-17 showed that the notice to PW-1 for recording her statement was
received by the SSP, Amritsar on 31st December 1992, but could not be

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served upon her for want of an address. Therefore, there was no question of
her suddenly appearing voluntarily before the Riot Cell officer. Even SI
Man Chand (DW-16) knew nothing as to when the said statement came into
existence. DW-16 also admitted that the statements of female witnesses are
not recorded at the PS but, as a matter of practice, at their places of
residence. From the DDR also, DW-16 was unable to deny that there was
no entry therein regarding the arrival and departure of PW-1 in the Riots
Cell on 31st December 1992. Mr. Cheema also referred to numerous
infirmities in the said document, which will be discussed hereinafter in this
judgment.

76. Mr. Cheema further pointed out that, as regards the writings on the two
summonses (Ex.PW-1/DX DY) under Section 160 Cr PC, PW-1 denied
the genuineness of the writings above her signatures on each document. She
denied having given any dictation and also asserted that the Hindi writing
was not that of her daughter (in Ex.PW-1/DX) or her son (in Ex.PW-1/DY).
She clarified that her signatures were obtained only on the summonses
without any endorsements being made thereon. Mr. Cheema also referred to
the cross-examination of Inspector Sushil Kumar (DW-15) to buttress the
above submissions that the entire document was manipulated.

77. Mr. Cheema pointed out that, as regards the statement before the Justice
Ranganath Misra Commission, PW-1 had explained that she made her
statement in Punjabi and the contents thereof were also recorded in Punjabi
but that the person again came with the purported English translation of the
same which she signed, believing that the contents were the same. In other

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words, the English translation was not read over and explained to her and
she signed it in good faith. She claimed that she had named A-1 in the said
affidavit.

78. Mr. Cheema submitted that that this affidavit (Ex.PW-1/A) could not be
equated with a statement made to an investigator. It had been drawn up
keeping in view the broad and general terms of reference of the Justice
Ranganath Misra Commission. Even the translation of the affidavit was
very casual and there were sequential mis-arrangements. He referred to the
decision in Manohar Lal v. NCT of Delhi (2000) 2 SCC 92 and submitted
that the principles of interpretation enunciated therein are to be adopted in
such situations.

79. Referring to the affidavit of PW-1 before the Justice Nanavati
Commission (Ex.PW-1/B), Mr. Cheema submitted that, when read as a
whole, there is no contradiction in its contents pointing to A-1 leading the
mob and providing leadership. He pointed out that, as per the explanation
proffered by PW-1, the structure of the affidavit was laid by Government
officials who contacted the witnesses and told them to be brief and not to
repeat or reiterate what they had earlier stated before the Justice Ranganath
Misra Commission.

80. Mr. Cheema stated that the trial Court Judge had by and large accepted
the truthfulness and reliability of the deposition of PW-1 when it came to
the roles of A-2 to A-6. However, in relation to her testimony on the role of
A-1, the learned trial Court Judge had given a rather stray finding and had
arbitrarily rejected her testimony. The learned trial Court gave no reasoning
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to come to the conclusion that page 2, para 9 of her affidavit (Ex.PW-1/B)
was manipulated especially since the contents of the said affidavit are
reproduced in the report of the Justice Nanavati Commission. There was
also no confrontation of PW-1 on this aspect.

81. The observation of the trial Court that PW-1 was taken in a military
vehicle was based on the testimony of PW-3, who was in fact a hostile
witness and had intentionally twisted his statement so as to ensure that PW-
1 could not be made an eye witness. He submits that it was overlooked by
the trial Court that DW-1 was a tutored witness who was made to speak of
wholly contradictory timings, i.e. claiming that PW-1 was removed to
safety before 8 am.

82. Mr. Cheema concluded his submissions on PW-1 by submitting that the
testimony of PW-1 was wholly reliable. He argued that the trial Court had
erred in disbelieving her as regards the role of A-1. Mr. Cheema also
discussed the trial Court‟s findings and made his own submissions on the
testimonies of PWs 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12. Their testimonies will be
discussed hereinafter in this judgment.

Complainant’s submissions as regards A-1

83. Mr. H. S. Phoolka, learned Senior Counsel appearing for PW-1,
supplemented the above submissions by pointing out that A-1 always been
in a position of influence since 1984 and all attempts to prosecute him have
been “blatantly thwarted”. He pointed out how, in the evidence of Inspector
R. K. Jha (DW-10), it was admitted that there were 11-12 affidavits given
by the victims in 1984-85 in which the name of A-1 also figured and that,
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 45 of 203
even besides these, “there were innumerable affidavits”. Mr. Phoolka
pointed out various instances of the attempts by A-1 to subvert the criminal
justice system in order to avoid being brought to book.

84. He then referred to the decision of this Court in Sajjan Kumar v. State
43 (1991) DLT 88 where, while affirming the anticipatory bail granted to
him in an FIR under Section 302 IPC in connection with his role in the
riots, the learned Single Judge took note of the fact that when the CBI
proceeded to the residence of A-1 to arrest him in 1990, the jeeps of the
CBI were burnt and the CBI officers were kept hostage in his house.
According to Mr. Phoolka, the said judgment threw light on the immense
influence, political clout, and criminal mindset of A-1 not only in being a
mastermind of the brutal killings in 1984 but even for years thereafter in
threatening and assaulting law enforcement officers investigating him.
According to Mr. Phoolka, in such circumstances, it was unfair to place the
entire onus on the witnesses and victims to come forward to speak against
A-1 without affording them any protection. He further pointed out that at
the time of the aforementioned incident, the party to which A-1 belonged
was not in power and yet, he was so influential that no one could dare to
take him into custody for questioning.

85. He next pointed out that in the investigation in FIR No.67/1987
registered at PS Nangloi, the statement of one Gurbachan Singh was
recorded in which A-1 had been named. He also stated that Gurbachan
Singh had also tendered two affidavits dated 4th and 9th September 1985
before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission and in both affidavits he

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had named A-1. However, the police recommended the filing of the closure
report. The prosecution branch disagreed and recommended the filing of the
charge sheet. The police registered a separate case on the basis of the
affidavit of Gurbachan Singh and registered it as FIR No.491/1991.

86. In view of the opinion of the prosecution branch, the police prepared a
charge sheet naming A-1 as an accused but it was never filed. The police
then decided to club other charge sheets with FIR No.491/1991.
Subsequently, the police dropped the name of A-1 and filed the charge
sheet naming the other accused persons. The charge sheet in FIR
No.67/1987 was tagged with this and A-1 was never made an accused.

87. The third instance pointed out by Mr. Phoolka is in the year 2010, when
this Court appointed a Special Public Prosecutor in a case titled State v.
Satpal Gupta. The SPP found the challan in FIR No.67/1987 lying in the
police files and moved an application before this Court for clarification
since A-1, although named in that challan, was not summoned. According
to Mr. Phoolka, a challan simply lying in the file since 1995 without
arraying the accused was unheard of in the criminal justice system. He
pointed out that a learned Additional Sessions Judge („ASJ‟) had passed an
order holding that FIR No.67/1987 could not have been clubbed with the
case of State v. Satpal Gupta and that A-1 could not be summoned and
tried in the said case. The learned ASJ directed the police to deal with the
challan in FIR No.67/1987 in accordance with law. Nevertheless, till date,
the said challan had not been filed in Court.

88. Mr. Phoolka further pointed out that these aforementioned facts find
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mention in orders dated 23rd October 2010 and 4th June 2011 passed by the
learned District Sessions Judge („DSJ‟), Rohini District Courts. The
case ultimately was decided by the DSJ by a judgment dated
20th September 2014, acquitting the accused. An appeal thereagainst, being
Crl.A.255/2016 (State v. Satpal Gupta), is presently pending before this
Court.

89. The fourth example given by Mr. Phoolka is that in 2005, when the
Justice Nanavati Commission recommended the registration of cases
against A-1 and another leader of the Congress Party, viz. Jagdish Tytler,
the Government of India informed Parliament that it had rejected said
recommendation of the Justice Nanavati Commission. The functioning of
both Houses of Parliament got stalled for about three days due to protests
by members of the Opposition. Only thereafter did the Central Government
agree to register the case.

90. Mr. Phoolka stressed that given the influence of A-1 and the impunity
with which he has conducted himself since 1984, witnesses or victims
could not be reasonably expected to risk their lives and those of their loved
ones unless assured of their safety and of action taken on their complaints
in accordance with law. Witness protection according to Mr. Phoolka was
absolutely essential and the failure to provide this was the main reason for
the delay in witnesses coming forward to speak the truth. When they were
approached for the first time in 2006, at the earliest possible instance, they
confidently named A-1. He referred to the observations of the Supreme
Court in this regard in Prithipal Singh v. State of Punjab (2012) 1 SCC 10.

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He also referred to the observations in Jaswantbhai Chaturbhai Nai v.
State of Gujarat 2017 (3) Bom CR (Cri.) 322 („Bilkis Bano‟).

91. He further submitted that the onus to prosecute an accused in instances
of crimes against humanity, where thousands have been brutally murdered
and there has been a complete break-down of civil administration, has to be
entirely on the State and not on the victim. Reference in this regard was
made to the decision of the Supreme Court in Dinubhai Boghabhai
Solanki v. State of Gujarat (2018) 11 SCC 129.

92. Mr. Phoolka also referred to the decisions of foreign courts and
tribunals in such cases where statements made by witnesses have been
believed notwithstanding their failure to name the perpetrators of such
atrocities in earlier statements. By doing this, he submits, witnesses were
given confidence to speak to offences committed and against the
perpetrators of such crimes. Specific reference is made to the decision of
the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in Government of the People’s Republic
of Bangladesh v. Abdul Quader Molla LEX/BDAD/0004/2013 which
pertained to the mass killings of Bangaldeshi citizens committed in 1971 by
sympathisers of the Pakistan Army. Reference is also made to the decision
of the Court of Appeal of the United Kingdom in the matter of Anthony
Sawoniuk [2000] 2 CR.APP.R.220.

93. Mr. Phoolka further pointed out how, this Court‟s decision in Sajjan
Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation 171 (2010) DLT 120 which was
affirmed by the Supreme Court in Sajjan Kumar v. State (2010) 9 SCC
368, upheld the order framing charges against A-1 in the present case.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 49 of 203

94. Mr. Phoolka submitted that it is unfortunate that not even a single non-
victim had come forward to speak even though the killings had taken place
in broad daylight. He attributes this conspicuous anomaly to the fear of
people who feel that by speaking the truth, they would put the lives of their
family members and themselves in imminent danger. He specifically
pointed out at least five persons who sheltered and rescued the victims
during the violence, later turned hostile and were non-supportive of the
prosecution‟s case. Four of them, in fact, deposed as witnesses for the
defence which, he submitted, illustrated unequivocally the magnitude of the
influence and power exercised by the accused. He also pointed out that
Baldev Khanna (DW-8) was a saviour but then appeared for the accused as
a witness. Even Chajju Ram (DW-9), a former Constable of the Delhi
Police, deposed in the manner tutored by the defence.

95. Mr. Phoolka concluded his submissions by stating that no extent of
lapse of time can absolve the State and the Courts of their duty towards the
victims and to humanity.

Submissions on behalf of A-1

96. Mr. Amit Sibal, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of A-1,
began his arguments by submitting that it was no one‟s case that the riots of
1984 did not take place or that the riots were not a monumental national
tragedy. He stated that his attempt before the Court was merely to show that
A-1 was not involved in the five killings which form the subject matter of
these appeals. According to him, the fact that A-1 even had to face trial was
the result of “an unjust investigation and blatant targeting by the CBI”.

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97. Mr. Sibal first addressed the recommendations of the Justice Nanavati
Commission as set out in the letter dated 24th October 2005 of the MHA to
the CBI asking them to reinvestigate the cases involving A-1. In
subsequently filing an application (Ex.PW-15/DA) for grant of permission
for further investigation in the matter, the CBI concealed the fact of the
outcome of the earlier investigation and most importantly that the closure
report sent in FIR No. 416/1984 was still pending consideration by the
concerned Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) before whom it was filed. He
submitted that this was done because permission to conduct further
investigation would not have been given by the learned District Judge had it
been known that the case was pending before the learned MM at Patiala
House Courts who would have been the competent authority to order the
investigating agency to further substantiate the charge sheet.

98. Mr. Sibal submitted that A-1‟s case was not covered within the purview
of the recommendations of the Justice Nanavati Commission. He pointed
out that the Commission recommended that only those cases where the
witnesses had accused A-1 specifically and yet no charge sheet was filed
should be examined. The other category mentioned was the cases that were
terminated as „untraced‟. He submitted that the present case against A-1 did
not fall under either category with A-1 not being named in the FIR
registered at PS Delhi Cantonment from which the present case arose nor
was the case terminated as „untraced‟.

99. While referring to the Action Taken Report (Ex.DW-14/A), Mr. Sibal
classified the accused persons into two categories: those who had been
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named from the beginning but the cases were sent for closure due to lack of
evidence and those who were named only after the constitution of the
Justice Nanavati Commission in 2000. He submitted that A-1 belonged to
the second category with his name being mentioned for the first time in the
affidavit of PW-1 (Ex.PW-1/B) before the Commission.

100. Mr. Sibal referred to the cross-examination of PW-15, who admitted
that the record prior to 2000 did not find mention of A-1. Even PW-17
admitted that none of the complainants prior to 2000 had alleged the
complicity of A-1. In sum, Mr. Sibal submitted that had the prosecution
placed on record the entire record of investigation conducted by earlier
agencies, there would have been no proceedings instituted against A-1.

101. Mr. Sibal further argued that even if this was considered a
supplementary investigation, it did not have the effect of wiping out,
directly or indirectly, the initial investigation. Therefore, the entire record
of the Delhi Police and the Riot Cell as well as the closure report filed by
the Riot Cell and the documents filed along with the closure report had to
be considered. Reliance in this regard was placed on the decision in Vinay
Tyagi v. Irshad Ali (2013) 5 SCC 762. According to Mr. Sibal, the CBI
was in possession of the entire record but had deliberately not placed it
along with the charge sheet for judicial scrutiny. The charge sheet was
silent on what happened in the period intervening 1984 and 2010 and why
the subject matter of the present case was not sent for trial during that time.

102. Mr. Sibal then argued that the CBI had targeted the accused persons
from the very beginning and, despite having the entire record, tried to
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present a picture as though no investigation had taken place till the CBI
took over the investigation in 2005. He submitted that pursuant to the
recommendations of the Jain-Banerjee Committee the case was indeed
investigated by the Delhi Police. The constitution of the Jain-Banerjee
Committee was successfully challenged in Brahma Nand Gupta v. Delhi
Administration (1990) ILR 2 Del 72.

103. Mr. Sibal then pointed out that an application was filed on
2nd December 2015 (Ex.PW-15/DA) for grant of permission to conduct
“further investigation”. This, he argued, clearly indicates that investigation
had been conducted earlier in that case. Further, it is his submission that
although the CBI had argued that the closure report was bogus, mala fide, a
sham and fraudulent and that the Riot Cell had no reason to file the closure
report, the charge sheet made no such allegation. He submitted that the
closure report was filed by the Riot Cell due to the non-cooperation of
PW-1, who refused to join the investigation.

104. Mr. Sibal further pointed out that the case was then re-opened on the
basis of a letter dated 25th January 2002 from the Delhi Gurudwara
Parbandhak Committee („DGPC‟) to the then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
(„LG of Delhi‟) as PW-1 was available and wanted the case to be
investigated. Pursuant thereto, Inspector Sunil Kumar Vashisht (DW-15)
was entrusted with further investigation. He summoned PW-1 on several
dates but she did not respond. DW-15 then personally went to Amristar on
13th January 2003 for recording of her statement but she refused to join the
investigation and gave in writing through her daughter Gurjeet Kaur in

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Hindi that she did not wish to join the investigation and that she could not
identify anyone. PW-1 had voluntarily signed the statement that she was
not making any statement under pressure.

105. Mr. Sibal submitted that Inspector Rakesh (DW-17) also made efforts
to get PW-1 to join the investigation but she again gave in writing through
her son Gurdeep Singh that she was ill and could not appear before the
Court. He submitted that, as per the endorsement in Hindi, she had stated
that she could not identify any person involved after 20-21 years nor could
she join investigation. It was in those circumstances that a closure report
was filed. Information of the filing of the closure report was sent to her but
she did not file any protest petition. The closure report was finally accepted
by the learned MM on 31st July 2008.

106. Mr. Sibal submitted that the FIR was re-registered with the CBI on
22nd November 2005 whereas the aforementioned closure report was filed
on 14th September 2005. It was his submission that the CBI did not ask the
Riot Cell not to proceed with the closure report. He also referred to a letter
dated 28th July 2008 from the Riot Cell to the CBI.

107. On the question of registration of FIR in the Delhi Cantonment area, it
is submitted that FIRs are normally registered at the Police Station (PS) and
not at the Police Post (PP). According to Mr. Sibal, the Roznamcha A of PS
Delhi Cantonment was deliberately not placed on record. He pointed out
that the register maintained at a PS is Register A whereas the register
maintained at a PP is Register B. According to him, the record of PS Delhi
Cantonment very clearly demonstrated that FIRs were registered on the first
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day of the occurrence. He submitted that while it might be true that there
was no immediate action taken, CBI was not justified in alleging that the
FIR was registered only on 4th November 1984. The SPP for the CBI had
also submitted the list of FIRs registered on various dates and it showed
that there were at least five FIRs registered on 1 st November 1984 and one
on 2nd November 1984.

108. Mr. Sibal then focused on the charges framed against A-1 and pointed
out that two of those charges, i.e. the first and second articles of charge,
refer to the date of entering into the alleged conspiracy as 31st October 1984
but no evidence had been adduced in that regard. There was no such
allegation in the charge sheet and no evidence was led before the trial
Court. Specifically, his submission was as under:

“No role, either direct or indirect, has been assigned to the
respondent no.1 of his involvement with other co-accused.

There is no allegation of his having any connections or concern
with the other co-accused in respect of that riot.

In the charge sheet it is not alleged at all that all the aforesaid
acts were done in pursuance of the aforesaid agreement. No
role is assigned to any of the accused.”

109. Mr. Sibal argued that if no untoward incident occurred on
31st October 1984 according to the witnesses and PWs 7, 9, and 12, who are
purported witnesses to the conspiracy, categorically state that A-1 was not
there, no such conspiracy can be deduced. Relying on the decision in Badri
Rai v. State of Bihar AIR 1958 SC 953, Mr. Sibal submitted that in the
present case, the charge of conspiracy was not proved in terms of Section

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10 Indian Evidence Act 1872 („IEA‟).

110. Likewise, the second charge named A-1 as the principal abettor and
charged him with having abetted and instigated the co-accused on
31st October 1984. This charge was framed in continuation of the first
charge and again, there was no evidence led in respect thereof.

111. With the fourth article of charge under Section 505 IPC not being
pressed for want of sanction, only the third article of charge was left, i.e. on
1st/2nd November 1984, A-1 delivered fiery and provocative speeches to the
mob gathered in that area and instigated and promoted violent enmity
against the Sikh community and created feelings of enmity and disturbed
harmony thereby committing an offence under Section 153A IPC.

112. Mr. Sibal then focused on the evidence of PW-1. He submitted that
prior to her appearing before the Justice Nanavati Commission, despite
several opportunities to do so, she never named A-1. In fact, prior to her
filing the affidavit (Ex.PW-1/B) before the Commission, nobody had
named A-1 in relation to the present case. Mr. Sibal discussed the four
categories of statements made by PW-1.

113. The first was the complaint given by her on 3 rd November 1984 at
PP Palam Colony which was not traceable. Mr. Sibal pointed out the
references made by her to said complaint in various statements made by her
under Sections 161 and 164 Cr PC and submitted that she was constantly
changing her statement. This made her testimony wholly unreliable. He
also submitted that she was confronted during cross-examination with these

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inconsistencies and thus, it had been demonstrated that the version of the
prosecution that the report was entered in the register on
3rd November 1984 and subsequently removed was false. Further, he argued
that no clarification was sought from PW-1 as to the contents of said
complaint and nothing in that regard emerged from any of her statements
under Sections 161 and 164 Cr PC. Further, no notice was given to any
authority with regard to said complaint having gone missing.

114. The second category was with regard to statements which were made
to the Delhi Police and Riot Cell on 20th January 1985 and
31st December 1992 respectively which subsequently were denied by PW-1.
Making reference to various portions of the evidence in this regard, Mr.
Sibal maintained that said statements were genuine and were indeed made
by PW-1 in the course of investigations carried out by the Delhi Police and
the Riot Cell.

115. The third category of statements were those made before the CoIs
constituted in the wake of the riots. Specifically, reference was made to the
affidavit filed by PW-1 before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission
(Ex.PW-1/A), the affidavit filed by her before the Justice Nanavati
Commission (Ex.PW-1/B), and the statement made by her before the
Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/C), all of which, it is pointed out,
have been relied upon by the prosecution in the present case and got
exhibited through PW-1. On the question of whether such statements can be
used to highlight contradictions or impeach the testimony of a witness,
reference is made to the decision of this Court in Crl.Rev.P.328/2012

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(Sajjan Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation) in which it was held
that A-1 had to be afforded a reasonable opportunity to defend himself by
permitting him to confront the witness and other evidence relied upon by
the prosecution. This order, it seems, has attained finality with no appeal
being filed against it.

116. The fourth category of statements referred to were those recorded by
during investigation of the present case. Under this category there were four
statements that were recorded, i.e. the statement dated 23rd May 2006
recorded by the CBI under Section 161 Cr PC (Ex.PW-1/DA), the
statement dated 10th December 2008 recorded by the MM under Section
164 Cr PC (Ex.PW-1/E), the supplementary statement dated 4 th
September 2009 (Ex.PW-1/DB), and the supplementary statement dated
11th April 2009 (Ex.PW-17/DB) both recorded by the CBI. It is argued that
these statements elicited no response from PW-1 as to the contents of
earlier statements made by her with regard to this case to the police or to
the affidavits and statements submitted by her before the Justice Ranganath
Misra and Justice Nanavati Commissions. It is submitted that the CBI
sought to brush the earlier statements under the carpet and instead relied
entirely on conjectures at the trial.

117. It is further submitted that even in the complaint/loss form submitted
by PW-1 dated 13th November 1984 (Ex.PW-1/D) she did not name any
accused. She only mentioned the loss of life and property. Even as regards
A-1, the only allegation was that she saw him addressing the public meeting
on 2nd November 1984.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 58 of 203

118. Mr. Sibal then went on to discuss the affidavit sworn by PW-1 before
the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-1/A). He pointed out that
there was no suggestion made therein that any meeting was held in the
affected area on 2nd November 1984. Furthermore, he drew attention to the
fact that the name of A-1 was not mentioned in any manner whatsoever nor
any role, direct or indirect, attributed to him. It is his submission that she
gave this statement at a time when the situation in Punjab was under control
and she was employed at that time at the stitching/sewing centre run by the
Government. She had also stated that she was not scared or under any threat
or pressure from any corner whatsoever.

119. Mr. Sibal further submitted that it was only in the affidavit filed before
the Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/B) that PW-1 named A-1 for
the first time, 15 years after the alleged incident. He submitted that, in this
statement, she described the same events with a completely different story.
In his submission, if this affidavit was excluded, there would be no case
against A-1. No explanation was given for filing this affidavit before the
Justice Nanavati Commission when her earlier affidavit before the Justice
Ranganath Misra Commission was already under investigation by the Riot
Cell.

120. Referring to her statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission
(Ex.PW-1/C), Mr. Sibal pointed out that PW-1, on the morning of
2nd November 1984, had gone to the Military Parade Ground and she was
taken from there to the PS in a vehicle by DW-1. He pointed out that this is
contrary to what she deposed at the trial where she has stated that she went
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to the PS alone. He argued that these were material contradictions and
falsified her claim that she was present when the meeting was addressed by
A-1.

121. He relied on the deposition of PW-3 who had stated that as he was
leaving for the airport with his family members, he had left PW-1 and her
children his house but when he saw and Army vehicle approaching, he
made them sit in it. He argued that although this witness was declared
hostile by the prosecution, it was unfair to reject his testimony. There was
no reason for him to help the defence because he was in fact a prosecution
witness. DW-1 himself was a material witness for the prosecution case but
could not be produced by the prosecution.

122. Mr. Sibal then pointed to the discrepancy in the times at which PW-1
was rescued as stated by various witnesses, viz. PWs 1, 3, and 6 and DW-1.
He argued that even regarding the killing of her three cousins, PW-1 had
given different versions of the events. Although she earlier stated in the
aforementioned statements before the CoIs that she had witnessed the
murders of all three brothers, it emerged from her deposition in the trial that
she only witnessed the murder of Narender Pal Singh. This, it is again
argued, is a material contradiction which called her testimony into doubt.

123. Mr. Sibal then pointed out that PW-4, who had made the complaint
regarding the killing of the three brothers, mentioned the other accused
persons but not A-1. As far as PW-6 is concerned, Mr. Sibal submitted that
he had never made a statement to the police or any other authority
regarding the occurrence. His name had been introduced for the first time
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through the statement of PW-1 dated 23rd May 2006 (Ex.PW-1/DA). The
earliest statement of PW-6 on the record is the one made under Section 161
Cr PC dated 7th November 2007 (Ex.PW-6/DA). He also made a statement
under Section 164 Cr PC dated 10th December 2008 (Ex.PW-6/A).

124. Mr. Sibal referred to the complaint made by PW-6‟s father Gurcharan
Singh (Ex.DW-4/C) in which no mention is made of the presence of PW-6.
According to Gurcharan Singh, the only two persons who witnessed the
death of his sons were his daughters-in-law Daljeet Kaur and Harbhajan
Kaur. These two were arrayed as prosecution witnesses but were
subsequently dropped. It is argued that PW-6 has been introduced belatedly
by the CBI to implicate A-1. There was a gap of 1½ years between
statements of PWs 1 and 6 under Section 161 Cr PC to the CBI.

125. Mr. Sibal submitted that PW-6 contradicted himself while deposing in
the trial and was confronted with his previous statement under Section 161
Cr PC where he had stated that when A-1 came he did not emerge from the
house of PW-3 nor did he join the people gathered there whereas in his
statement under Section 164 Cr PC, he mentioned that A-1 came in his
Ambassador car and after he left, the rioters attacked their house.

126. It is Mr. Sibal‟s contention that there was a material change in the
deposition of PW-6 in the Court when compared to his previous statements
under Sections 161 and 164 Cr PC. It is submitted that PW-6 was the only
witness to speak of seeing A-1 in the locality on the night of
1st November 1984. If indeed this had happened, PW-1 would have spoken
about this, since her house was situated nearby. At no point did PW-6
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mention seeing either PW-1 or her children in the house of PW-3, where he
was supposedly taking shelter. If PW-1 had come to the house of PW-3 to
drop her children off for safekeeping, it is odd that PW-6 made no mention
of this. Reference is also made to the deposition of PW-3 who nowhere
admitted to giving shelter to PW-6 in his house.

127. The further submission is that the factum of PW-6 being mona and
therefore not identifiable as a Sikh found no mention in the statements of
PW-6 under Sections 161 and 164 Cr PC. Reference to this was made for
the first time while deposing in the trial. This too made him an unreliable
witness. Likewise, his role in bringing DW-1 to rescue PW-1, his bhabhis,
and their children was also highly doubtful and improbable.

128. Turning to the deposition of PW-10, Mr. Sibal submitted that she
maintained her silence on the matter for 24 years before speaking up when
her statement under Section 161 Cr PC dated 5th December 2008
(Ex.PW-10/DA) was recorded by the CBI. Therein, she neither claims that
she went to the area with forces provided by Wing Commander L. S.
Pannu, nor was there a whisper of any meeting held by A-1. It is argued
that, thereafter, in her statement under Section 164 Cr PC dated
21st January 2009 (Ex.PW-1/A), her version was changed to support that of
PW-1 so that it may suit the prosecution case. Further, reference is made to
an organisation run by PW-10 under the name and style of „Justice for
Victims‟ and the various responses elicited from her as to her involvement
in activism surrounding issues affecting the Sikh community.

129. Mr. Sibal pointed out that although PW-10 stated that her mother
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Sampuran Kaur had not given any statement to the police or any other
authority prior to the Justice Nanavati Commission, the record revealed that
she and her mother had in fact previously made statements to the police. It
was also incredible, according to Mr. Sibal, that despite maintaining good
relations with her mother Sampuran Kaur, PW-10 would not have told her
about the role of A-1. He also posited that it was difficult to believe that
someone as educated as PW-10 would name A-1 for the first time 24 years
after the incident. Reliance was placed on the decision in Abdul Rashid v.
State (GNCTD) (decision of this Court dated 29th January 2010 in
Crl.A. 219/1996), Rathinam v. State of Tamil Nadu (2011) 11 SCC 140,
and Shakti Singh v. Delhi Administration 57 (1995) DLT 731 where
witnesses who remained silent for many years were disbelieved.

130. Turning to the charge against A-1 for criminal conspiracy, Mr. Sibal
submitted that although PWs 7, 9, and 12 were purportedly witnesses to the
conspiracy, none of them named A-1. In fact, in their statements, they even
denied his involvement. He further pointed out that there was no
independent evidence which was the condition precedent for invoking
Section 10 Indian Evidence Act against A-1. Reliance was placed on the
decisions in Balmokand v. Emperor AIR 1915 Lah. 16, Balkar Singh v.
State of Haryana (2015) 2 SCC 746, Union of India v. Prafful Kumar
Samal (1979) 3 SCC 4, and Tribhuvannath v. State of Maharashtra AIR
1973 SC 450.

131. The non-examination of as many as 18 witnesses named by the
prosecution out of the 35 witnesses in its list was, according to Mr. Sibal,

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because the prosecution was not confident that said witnesses would
support its case and therefore conveniently dropped them. It is pointed out
that some of them were subsequently examined by the defence. No reason
was given by the prosecution for dropping these material witnesses.
Reliance was placed on the decisions in State of Himachal Pradesh v.
Gyan Chand (2001) 6 SCC 71 in which it was held that if material
witnesses have been deliberately or unfairly kept back, it cast a serious
reflection was cast on the propriety of the trial itself.

132. Mr. Sibal then discussed the testimonies of the 17 defence witnesses.
He placed reliance on the decisions in Munshi Prasad v. State of Bihar
AIR 2001 SC 3031 and State of Haryana v. Ram Singh 2002 CriLJ
987(SC) in support of his submission that there was no reason to disbelieve
the defence witnesses and that their creditworthiness must be tested by the
same yardstick as the prosecution witnesses.

133. In concluding his submissions, Mr. Sibal alleged that there have been
brazen attempts to target A-1 who has been proceeded against in non-
compliance with the recommendations of the Justice Nanavati Commission.
He further submitted that the prosecution has suppressed the Action Taken
Report and records of previous investigation so as to re-open the
investigation in the present case. This suppression resulted in A-1 not being
able to rely on the exculpatory evidence in possession of the CBI at the
stage of charge. This ensured that the case would proceed to trial.

134. Calling into question the genuineness of the case presented against A-
1, Mr. Sibal submitted that since the script was new, the evidence had to be
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tailored to match it. He alleged that in pursuance of this endeavour, the
prosecution had sought to brush under the carpet the statement and affidavit
made by PW-1 before the Justice Nanavati Commission, having re-opened
the investigation on the basis of those statements. By doing so, the
prosecution had ensured that they could set up PW-1 as its most vital
witness during the trial. He further referred to the prosecution‟s attempts to
resist confrontation of PW-1 with the affidavits sworn by her before the
Justice Ranganath Misra Commission and the Justice Nanavati Commission
by invoking the Commission of Inquiry Act even though it was the settled
position of law that once exhibited, those affidavits became a part of the
examination-in-chief and could not escape the rigour of cross-examination.

135. He described the record of evidence of PWs 1, 6, and 10 as being rife
with contradictions and effectively a “dead record”. He further submitted
that the standard for reversing an acquittal on the basis of such dead record
was “absolute assurance”. He referred to the decision in Mahabir Singh v.
State of Haryana (2001) 7 SCC 148. According to him, since there was no
credible evidence qua A-1 and the evidence of PW-1 was without
corroboration, the judgment of the trial Court was neither erroneous nor
perverse and there was no ground for reversal of the acquittal.

The Court’s findings as regards the role of Sajjan Kumar (A-1)
Failure to register FIRs and unsatisfactory investigations

136. The Court would first like to dwell on the extraordinary circumstances
under which the trial in the present case ultimately came about. That there
was an abject failure by the police to investigate the violence which broke

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out in the aftermath of the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi is apparent
from the several circumstances that have already been highlighted
hereinabove.

137. In the first place, it is extraordinary that despite there being as many as
341 deaths in the Delhi Cantonment area alone over the span of four days
beginning 1st November 1984, only 21 FIRs were registered and, of these,
only 15 pertained to deaths/murders. Ultimately, only five bodies were
recovered and that too was because of the intervention of Army.

138. It is trite that for each incident involving the offence of murder, a
separate FIR had to be registered. There was no question of clubbing
several complaints pertaining to several deaths in one FIR. There were
extensive arguments advanced as regards the roznamcha of PP Palam
Colony. In this regard, it would be pertinent to discuss the Daily Diary
Register (DDR) (Ex.PW-16/A), the authenticity of which has been accepted
by the accused.

139. The Punjab Police Rules 1934 („Police Rules‟) establish the statutory
nature of the DDR. Rule 22.45 of the Police Rules sets out the registers that
are required to be maintained. There is an FIR register and there is a Station
Diary. The DDR is referred to as Register No. II. Rule 22.48 of the Police
Rules sets out how it shall be maintained. Rule 22.49 talks about the
matters to be entered in Register No. II and this includes, in clause (n), “a
reference to every information relating to the commission of a cognizable
offence, and action is taken under section 157, Code of Criminal Procedure,
the number and date of the first information report submitted”. Under Rule
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22.50 of the Police Rules, a false entry is made punishable.

140. In a case where a victim lodges a report regarding the commission of a
cognizable offence, Rule 22.49(n) requires an entry in respect thereof to be
recorded in the DDR. The copy of the DDR entry is thereafter forwarded to
the PS with an endorsement for the purposes of recording a formal FIR in
the FIR register.

141. The Court has perused the copies of the entries in the DDR maintained
at PP Palam Colony for the period between 31st October 1984 and
6th November 1984. Entry No.18 dated 3rd November 1984 (Ex.PW-16/F-

18) shows that the SI made the entry after he returned from Safdarjung
Hospital on his motorcycle and recorded the statements of Sardar Singh and
Sarjit Singh. Those two persons had stated that on 1 st November 1984,
some persons had injured them in a quarrel.

142. Entry No.24 dated 4th November 1984 (Ex.PW-16/G-24) was recorded
at 10:30 pm which states that the SI accompanied by two Constables
returned after patrolling PP area and had brought with them six persons,
including PW-3, having arrested them under Sections 101 and 151 Cr PC. It
states that at that time, a curfew was in operation and a voice had come
from inside H. No. R-2/110, Raj Nagar stating “if any sardars had survived,
they should also not be left alive today”. It was recorded that they were
saying this loudly by creating a nuisance. Despite the SI going close to the
said house and addressing them in a loud voice, the voice from inside the
house continued to be raised and they “continued to use provocative
expressions”. The door of the house was opened and the SI went inside but
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even on being advised, the six persons present there, continued raising
those slogans and finding no alternative, the SI arrested those persons and
detained them in the lockup of PS Delhi Cantonment.

143. The contention of the defence that no details were required to be
entered in the DDR is clearly erroneous. What is, however, strange is that
despite the widespread killing and bedlam in the area, no mention of this is
found in the DDR. It is clear, therefore, that in those chaotic conditions, the
local police force was inadequate for the task at hand.

144. There are two other entries at Entry No.22 entered by Constable Nafe
Singh (Ex.PW-16/E-22) at 3:30 am on 3rd November 1984 that he along
with “fellow outer-post RAC returned to the PP after patrolling the area”.
Entry Nos. 9, 10, 22, and 32 from 8 am onwards on 3rd November 1984
shows the presence of the RAC in the area.

145. HC Rajender Singh (PW-16) proved the above DDR and deposed that
it was “maintained in the normal course of official functioning of the police
station”. He was posted at PP Palam Colony at the relevant time. He proved
each of the aforementioned entries. He admitted during his cross-
examination that “it is correct that during this period, force from outside
was also requisitioned”. The fact remained that this DDR is completely
silent about the commission of any cognizable offence although as many as
30 murders occurred in the Raj Nagar area itself.

146. There is a lot of emphasis placed by Mr. Sibal on the factum of
registration of the FIRs. It is possible, in terms of the statement of Mr. D. P.

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Singh, learned SPP for the CBI, that some of the FIRs like 409, 410, 411,
412 and 413 were registered on 1st November 1984. The fact of the matter
remained that, as far as the murders in Raj Nagar area were concerned, FIR
No.416/1984 was able to be registered only on 4th November 1984. The
searching cross-examination of PW-17, who was not present in the PS
Delhi Cantonment area at that time, did not elicit any answer that could
help the defence. He could answer only with regard to FIR No.416/1984
and that was not unnatural. Even the answers given by PW-15 in this regard
do not help the accused. When asked as to how many complaints were
clubbed in FIR No.416/1984, he stated that “there were about 15/20 such
complaints clubbed in this FIR”. He stated that the death of every victim
was separately investigated but admitted that “all were not sent for trial”.
When asked whether, on the complaint of PW-1, separate action was taken
regarding the killing of her husband, son and three cousins, he answered:
“No. Practically no substantial action or investigation was done by Delhi
Police with regard to the aforesaid death”. Thus, it is clear that there was an
utter failure to register separate FIRs with respect to each of the five deaths
that form the subject matter of the present appeals. It is also abundantly
clear that PW-1 did approach the PP with a complaint on
3rd November 1984. In her examination-in-chief dated 2nd July 2010 about
what she did on 3rd November 1984, she stated as under:

“…When I reached the Police Post, the Incharge was present
there. At that time, Air Force Personnel were also present
nearby with vehicle. The Incharge of the Police Post recorded
my report on a plain paper after writing a few lines and made
me sign the same. He also obtained my signatures on two blank
papers and stated that he was short of time and would prepare
the report later. I was not given any copy of the said report nor
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was my report incorporated in a register though I had asked for
the copy of the same. When I was making my report, the
Incharge of the Police Post had threatened me saying “hosh me
to ho, jin admiyon ke naam likha rahi ho jitney shakti shali
hain, aap apna baki pariwar kahan le jain gi.”

147. In her affidavit filed before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission
(Ex.PW-1/A), PW-1 made a reference to the above statement. She again
made such reference in her affidavit and statement before the Justice
Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/B and Ex.PW-1/C). When her statement
was recorded before the Justice Nanavati Commission on 8th January 2002,
she had stated that she had made a complaint on 3 rd November 1984.
Thereupon, learned counsel for the Delhi Police added that this had been
made part of FIR No.416/1984. The relevant extract of the portion of her
statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission reads as under:

“…I had spent the night there and then next day in the morning
i.e. on 3rd November, 1984, I again went to my house. I saw
that the mob was looting our house and had taken out the dead
bodies of my husband and son. I then collected partly burnt
chairs etc. And with such material cremated my husband and
son at that place. I had again gone to Shri Om Parkash‟s house
and from there I had gone to Palam Nagar Police Station where
I gave my complaint. [Learned counsel from Delhi Police
Shri S.S Gandhi stated that as a general complaint was
already recorded by Palam Nagar Police Station as FIR No.
416, her complaint was made a part of it]. I had disclosed to
the police all that had happened.” (emphasis in original)

148. The following suggestion given by the defence to her was
acknowledgment of her having made such a statement:

“… It is incorrect to suggest that on 03.11.1984 police officials
were concerned about my safety and they took precautions that
I should reach the police post safely. Though police officials
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had taken me to police post only on the asking of those good
persons, I cannot say if on 3.11.1984 police officials were not
against me. Behaviour of the police who took me in the vehicle
to the police post was not bad.”

149. It is a fact that the said statement made by her on 3 rd November 1984
was not available before the trial Court. If she had gone to the PP and given
that statement, it should have found mention in the FIR. Although the DDR
exhibited in the present case is for the period from 24th/25th September 1984
to 6th/7th November 1984, there is not a single entry which mentions her
visit to the PP. The killings of at least 30 persons were the subject matter of
FIR No.416/1984. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Cheema, the police failed
to record any incident whatsoever in the DDR. This explains why PW-1‟s
statement also, therefore, does not find any mention in the DDR. These
circumstances establish the apathy of the Delhi Police and their active
connivance in the brutal murders being perpetrated.

150.1. In Prithipal Singh (supra), the Supreme Court was dealing with the
disappearance of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra who had been
abducted by the police from his house and was thereafter not seen alive.
The Court observed as under:

“Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary remedies.
While dealing with an unprecedented case, the Court has to
innovate the law and may also pass an unconventional order
keeping in mind that an extraordinary fact situation requires
extraordinary measures. In B.P Achala Anand v. S. Appi Reddy
(2005) 3 SCC 313 this court observed: (SCC p.318, para1)
“Unusual fact situation posing issues for resolution is an
opportunity for innovation. Law, as administered by
courts, transforms into justice.”

Thus, it is evident that while deciding the case, the court has to
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 71 of 203
bear in mind the peculiar facts, if so exist, in a given case.”

150.2. There again, the truth could be unearthed only after several years.
The Court observed that it had to take into consideration “the ground
realities referred to hereinabove, particularly that it is very difficult to get
evidence against policemen responsible for custodial death”. The Court was
prepared to sustain a conviction based on the solitary witness
notwithstanding that his statements were found to be varying. It observed as
under:

“In view of the persistent threats hurled by the accused and
other police officials to the complainant and the witnesses
throughout the investigation and trial, variation in Kuldip
Singh‟s version from time to time is natural. However, it can
be inferred that deposition to the extent of illegal detention,
killing and throwing away the dead body of Shri Khalra, can
safely be relied upon as the same stand corroborated by other
circumstantial evidence and the deposition of other witnesses.
As we have referred to hereinabove, there is trustworthy
evidence in respect of abduction of Shri Khalra by the
appellants; as well as his illegal detention.

In view of the law referred to hereinabove, the same remains
the position in case a solitary witness deposed regarding the
illegal detention and elimination of Shri Jaswant Singh
Khalra.”

151.1. In Extra Judicial Execution Victims’ Families Association v.
Union of India (2017) 8 SCC 417, the Supreme Court was dealing with a
petition brought before it stating that 1528 persons had been killed in fake
encounters by police and armed forces personnel in Manipur. This was a
follow up of the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court on 8th July 2016
(AIR 2016 SC 3400) in which it had issued directions for complete

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information to be collected as regards each individual case and also for
information as to whether a judicial inquiry, an inquiry by the National
Human Rights Commission („NHRC‟), or an inquiry under the CoI Act had
been held and the results thereof. The Court noted the extraordinary
circumstances in which, for many years, no action had been taken by the
State. It rebutted the submissions of the learned Attorney General that
“some of the incidents are of considerable vintage and at this point of time,
it may not be appropriate to re-open the issues for investigation”. The Court
observed that “merely because the State has not taken any action and has
allowed time to go by, it cannot take advantage of the delay to scuttle an
inquiry”.

151.2. It also rebutted the submissions of the learned Attorney General that
there were local pressures and the ground level situation was such that it
would not be surprising if the inquiries were biased in favour of citizens
and against the State. The answer of the Supreme Court was as under:

“…if there had been a breakdown of the rule of law in the State
of Manipur, surely the Government of India was under an
obligation to take appropriate steps. To suggest that all the
inquiries were unfair and motivated is casting very serious
aspersions on the independence of the authorities in Manipur at
that point of time, which we do not think is at all warranted.”

151.3. It was then submitted that in many instances, the next of kin had not
approached the Court and therefore a petition by a third party should not be
entertained. This too was rejected. The answer provided by the Supreme
Court was that for many in the deprived sections of the society “access to
justice is only a dream”. It further stated:

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 73 of 203

“Our constitutional jurisprudence does not permit us to shut the
door on such persons and our constitutional obligation requires
us to give justice and succour to the next of kin of the
deceased.”

151.4. Lastly, it was submitted therein that since the compensation had
been paid to the next of kin, it would be advisable not to proceed further in
the matter. This too was rejected by the Supreme Court observing that
“compensation has been awarded to the next of kin for the agony they have
suffered and enable them to immediately tide over their loss and for their
rehabilitation. This cannot override the law of the land, otherwise all
heinous crimes would get settled through payment of monetary
compensation. Our constitutional jurisprudence does not permit this and we
certainly cannot encourage or countenance such a view”.

152. What happened in the aftermath of the assassination of Smt. Indira
Gandhi was indeed carnage of unbelievable proportions in which over 2700
Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone. In the present case, we are only
concerned with five of such killings in one particular area, viz., Raj Nagar
within the jurisdiction of PS Delhi Cantonment. The law and order
machinery had clearly broken down and it was literally a „free for all‟
situation which persisted. The aftershocks of those atrocities are still being
felt. That many cases remained to be properly investigated was
acknowledged recently by the Supreme Court in its order dated
11th January 2018 in W.P.(Crl.) 9/2016 (S. Gurlad Singh Kahlon v. Union
of India) by which it was considered appropriate to constitute a three-
member Special Investigating Team („SIT‟) to proceed to investigate as
many as 186 cases in which further investigation had not taken place. By a
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recent order dated 4th December 2018, the Supreme Court has permitted a
two-member SIT to probe the matter.

Past involvement of A-1

153. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Phoolka, the case in which A-1 had been
named, i.e. FIR No.67/1987 registered at PS Nangloi, did not proceed.
Although a charge sheet had been prepared, it was simply kept in the file
and not presented to the Court. This is noted by the DSJ of Rohini Courts
in his orders dated 23rd October 2010 and 4th June 2011 in SC No.54/2010.

154.1. With regard to A-1 himself, the extraordinary power that he wielded
as a politician and as an MP was noted by this Court in its order in Sajjan
Kumar v. State 43 (1991) DLT 88 where it confirmed the anticipatory bail
granted to him in FIR No.250/1984 registered at PS Punjabi Bagh which
pertained to an incident that took place in Sultanpuri, Delhi. The FIR was
registered on the affidavit and statement of one Anwar Kaur, who along
with her husband Navin Singh and children were living in H.No.A4,
Sultanpuri, Delhi. On 1st November 1984, while she was present in her
house she saw thousands of the people of the area armed with lathis,
dandas, iron rods and knives, looting the houses of Sardars and setting
them on fire. This mob was being led by A-1 who was instigating them,
saying that all Sikh males be burnt to death and their property be looted.
Under that instigation, her husband was dragged out and attacked with a
sharp-edged weapon and burnt to death after being doused in kerosene oil.
Thereafter, her house was also burnt. She took refuge in the house of her
daughter Film Kaur, who was residing in D-Block, Sultanpuri. Late at

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night, some people came there and removed the burnt dead body of her
husband, which was never traced.

154.2. What the police did with her complaint is also noted by the Court in
paragraph 7 as under:

“The assassination of late Prime Minister India Gandhi on
31.10.84, was an unfortunate incident, but still more
unfortunate were the events, which took place thereafter, as a
result of which a large number of anti-social elements came
out of their house in anger and indulged in incidents of rioting,
looting, arson, assault and killing of innocent persons and
burning their property throughout India. On first of November,
1984 such like ‘incidents also took place in the locality of
Sultanpuri, Delhi. Information of· this incident was received at
the Police station at about 2.10 p.m. It was recorded in the DD.
Register at serial no. 11-A.-and the same was handed over to
SI Sukhbir Singh for immediate action. Sukhbir Singh went to
the, spot and made preliminary enquiries. Later on, he sent a
ruqqa to the police station for the registration of a case u/s 147;
148, 149, 395, 196 IPC. The same was registered as FIR
No.250/84. Then, he recorded the statements of various
witnesses who were the target of looting, arson and assault.
The SI collected the MLCs from the hospital and in view of the
medical reports, further recommended the inclusion of
Sections 307, 324 and 302 IPC.”

154.3. The judgment also noted the dissatisfaction with the progress of the
investigation and the public clamour surrounding it which resulted in the
constitution of the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission under the CoI Act
on 26th April 1985, inter alia, to find out whether “there was any organized
mob violence at the behest of Congress workers and if there was, then
suggest ways and means to punish the guilty”.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 76 of 203

154.4. This Court went on to note that despite acknowledging that rioting in
a proper sense had started in a very big way in several parts of Delhi on
31st October 1984 with the murders of Sikhs commencing on
1st November 1984, the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission gave the
Congress Party a clean chit by observing:

“The massive scale on which the operation had started so soon
after the fact of death was circulated is clearly indicative of the
fact that it was the spontaneous reaction of the people at large.
The short span of time that intervened would not have
permitted scope for any organising to be done. The gloom that
had spread and affected the Congressmen in particular would
not have permitted any such organisation to be handled. The
reaction appears to have come as flutter and sparked
everywhere in a similar pattern.”

154.5. It is further noted by this Court that the Justice Ranganath Misra
Commission had observed that “no responsible person and authority of
Congress (I) hatched any conspiracy or organized large-scale rioting,
looting, killing, etc. in various parts of Delhi. In fact, the anti-social
elements had taken the lead”. It was observed that the Commission had
come to the conclusion that despite wide spread publicity to the cause,
many persons had not come forward to depose as to the actual happenings
between 1st and 7th November 1984 and, therefore, it recommended that a
new committee be appointed “to go through the individual cases of
omission or non-registration of cases by the local police”.

154.6. The Jain-Banerjee Committee comprising Justice M. L. Jain, a
former Judge of this Court, and Mr. A. K. Banerjee, a retired officer of the
Indian Police Service („IPS‟) came to be constituted. This Committee went

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through the affidavit of Anwar Kaur and wrote to the Delhi Administration
for an FIR to be registered. At that point, one B. N. Gupta filed a writ
petition before this Court which, by the aforementioned judgment in
Brahma Nand Gupta (supra), restrained the registration of cases pursuant
to directions of the Jain-Banerjee Committee.

154.7. This Court, in its judgment deciding the anticipatory bail application
of A-1, noted that on 22nd March 1990, another Committee comprising of
Justice P. S. Poti, a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, and Mr.
P. A. Rosha, a retired officer of the Delhi Police, was constituted. This
committee recommended that a case be registered and investigated by the
CBI in relation to the omission to register a case and investigate the
offences alleged in the affidavit of Anwar Kaur. The CBI then registered
FIR No.RC-SI-1/2005/S0024 at PS Delhi Cantonment against six accused
persons, including A-1, in the present case on 7th September 1990. On
11th September 1990, it organized a raiding party to search A-1‟s house and
arrest him.

154.8. That very night, the learned Single Judge of this Court granted A-1
anticipatory bail in light of certain extraordinary circumstances which were
noted as under:

“When the officer of the CBI went to the house of the
petitioner at A-713, Janta Flats, Paschimpuri, at 6:45 A.M. in
order to conduct search of the house and to arrest him,
according to the affidavit of Shri G.S. Kapila,
Dy.Superintendent of Police, CBI, the search of the house
concluded at 8.45 AM, but in the meantime, the petitioner
managed to organize a huge crowd, which made it impossible
for the officers to leave the premises of the petitioner. During
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the course of search, the respondent officers have seized few
documents and six swords but they could not be removed on
account of the law and order problem created by the petitioner
outside his house. By the time the search was concluded, the
mob outside the house inflamed and was raising slogans
against the CBI and in favour of the petitioner. The mob in fact
had barred the exit gate which made difficult for them to leave
the premises. With the lapse of time, the mob continued to
swell and provocative slogans were chanted through a
loudspeaker system installed by the mob.

5. According to Shri Kapila, the crowed threatened the search
party with dire consequences in the event of the petitioner
being arrested or harmed in any way. The mob then became
violent and smashed and damaged the Maruti Jipsi and
Ambassador car of the CBI. The search party tried their best to
call for reinforcement from the local police but it could not be
arranged. In fact, the information conveyed to the search party
by the high police officials was that it was impossible for the
police to come to their rescue without inflicting heavy
casualties, which in turn, may also endanger the safety of the
search party. Ultimately, the search party could only be
allowed to leave the premises after the anticipatory bail order
from the High Court was received and conveyed to the persons
waiting outside, on make-shift public address system by the
petitioner.”

155. It is another matter that this Court, while confirming the bail order,
held that the apprehensions of the CBI that A-1 could cause hindrance to
the investigation were “totally misplaced”. According to the learned Single
Judge, on the date of the alleged incident, he was an MP and had “a
following”; he had “a standing in the society and commands respect, love,
and affection of the people of his constituency”, and further that his social
background is such that “there is neither any possibility nor has he betrayed
the trust placed in him by the Court in avoiding to join the investigation or
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interfered in the due administration of justice”. All these expectations were
obviously belied because the investigation never went anywhere and
nothing of consequence happened in that case. It was only much later, when
the Justice Nanavati Commission was constituted, that a recommendation
was made for registration of cases against A-1.

156. Here again, it is necessary to briefly refer to the precise
recommendation of the Justice Nanavati Commission which has already
been extracted hereinbefore. The Commission was clearly of the view that
“there is credible material against Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan
Khokhar for recording a finding that he and Shri Balwan Khokhar were
probably involved, as alleged by the witnesses”. No doubt, the Commission
observed that no useful purpose would be served by directing registration of
these cases “where the witnesses complaining about the same were
examined in the Court, and yet the accused were acquitted by the Courts”.
The recommendation of the Commission was to take further action as is
permitted by law after examining only:

(i) Cases where the witnesses have accused A-1 specifically and yet no
charge sheets were filed against him; and

(ii) Cases which were terminated as „untraced‟.

157. Mr. Sibal, in making his submissions, stressed that A-1 belonged to
neither of these categories having been named for the first time by PW-1
before the Justice Nanavati Commission only in 2000. He further pointed to
the Action Taken Report (Ex.DW-14/A) which was drafted in compliance
with the recommendations of the Commission. In the conclusion as to the

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whether there was any basis for re-opening the case against A-1, it was
noted that “none of the 18 persons who filed affidavits before Justice
Nanavati Commission has named accused Shri Sajjan Kumar for the
incidents of riots in the area of PS Delhi Cantt. Therefore, there is no
justification to re-open this case”.

158. This, however, is clearly not the case as PW-1 definitely went before
the Justice Nanavati Commission and accused A-1 of being involved in the
crimes that took place at Raj Nagar. This cannot be denied even by A-1
himself. The entire argument that the present cases were wholly unjustified
and were beyond the scope of what was recommended by the Justice
Nanavati Commission is misconceived and proceeds on a misunderstanding
of what was actually recommended. In the view of this Court, the
Government‟s conception of which category A-1‟s case would fall under is
not finally determinative of the question of whether the re-opening of the
investigation against him was justified.

159. While it is true that a closure report was filed, and it was for the
learned MM to decide as to how the matter should proceed, these records
never surfaced. If the fate of the charge sheet prepared in FIR No.67/1987
registered at PS Nangloi is anything to go by, even where a charge sheet
named A-1, it was simply kept in the file and never submitted in the Court.
This was an extraordinary case where it was going to be impossible to
proceed against A-1 in the normal scheme of things because there appeared
to be ongoing large-scale efforts to suppress the cases against him by not
even recording or registering them. Even if they were registered, they were

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not investigated properly and even if the investigation proceeded, they were
not carried to the logical end of actually filing a charge sheet. Even the
defence does not dispute that as far as FIR No.416/1984 is concerned, a
closure report had been prepared and filed but was yet to be considered by
the learned MM.

160. The fact of the matter, therefore, is that A-1 was never really sent up
for trial until the CBI intervened. The Court is not impressed with the
argument that the CBI deliberately suppressed the fact of the pendency of
the closure report in FIR No.416/1984. This argument appears to be born
out of sheer desperation. The Justice Nanavati Commission itself treated
FIR No.416/1984 to be a case which was closed as „untraced‟. Even if this
is taken to be factually incorrect, the fact remains that there was no progress
whatsoever in FIR No.416/1984.

161. In any event, it is too late in the day for A-1 to advance this argument.
He cannot take advantage of an obvious failure by the Delhi Police to carry
the investigation in FIR No.416/1984 to its logical end. It is only after the
CBI stepped in that witnesses found the courage to speak the truth and
come forward with their versions which have formed the basis for the
charge sheet and the charges framed.

162. Consequently, the Court rejects the plea on behalf of A-1 that the case
against him was not covered by the recommendations of the Justice
Nanavati Commission or that the CBI withheld any information in its
application for re-investigation of the case. That the Delhi Police has a lot
to answer for is what comes across explicitly in the answers given by the
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IOs of the CBI in the present case, viz. PWs 15 and 17. In particular, the
contention that the testimony of PW-17 entailed an admission of
“suppression of facts” is without basis. His testimony, in fact, indicates the
contrary position as is discernible from the portion reproduced hereunder:

“I have gone through the entire charge sheet. It is correct that
killing of five deceased were investigated earlier also in the
FIR no.416/84 PS Delhi Cantt. I have gone through all the
documents annexed with this charge sheet. I do not find any
document placed in the charge sheet regarding the report/result
of the earlier investigation conducted in case FIR no.416/84 PS
Delhi Cantt. I collected the result of the earlier investigations
conducted. During the investigation carried out by me, it was
revealed that Delhi Police had carried out investigation in the
killings of five victims in 1984/1985 and later on as per the
direction of Jain Aggarwal Committee, Riot Cell of Delhi
Police had carried out investigation after 1992.

Q. What was the result of the earlier two investigations?

Ans. I found that the first investigation carried out by Delhi
Police was superficial and merely an eyewash. Similarly,
investigation carried out by the riot cell of Delhi -Police was
also an eyewash wherein they had ultimately filed an untraced
report.

Q. I suggest to you that first investigation which was
conducted by the Delhi Police also ended in the conclusion of
closure of the case and second was not sent for closure as
untraced. Do you agree?

Ans. With regard to the first investigation in 1984-85, I do not
agree that it was closed whereas second one was submitted
before relevant court as closure report/untraced report. The
second one was sent in the court of ld. MM, Patiala House
Courts. As I remember first it was in the court Smt. Rawat and
then Sh. Kuldeep Narayan.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 83 of 203

Q. Where have you come to know about the result of the two
investigations?

Ans. From the Delhi Police records forwarded to CBI by
Ministry of Home Affairs, I came to know about the aforesaid
investigations.”

163. There was a further questioning of PW-17 on the third investigation
which was ordered in the year 2002 and which was conducted by the Riot
Cell. According to him there was “nothing like third investigation by the
riot cell and they had simply continued their investigation as per the
reference made by the Jain Aggarwal Committee. The same was ultimately
filed as untraced report in 2005”.

164. PW-17 also admitted having gone through the judicial records of FIR
No.416/1984 in the learned MM‟s Court and stated as under:

“It is correct, that I had taken the certified copy of the judicial
record of the FIR no.416/84 PS Delhi Cantt. pertaining to
killing of five persons subject matter of this case from the court
of Ms. Illa Rawat, the then id. MM, Patiala House Courts, till
June 2007. It is correct that there is no mention of this closure
report in the charge sheet filed by the CBI though I had
collected before filing the charge sheet. I had gone through this
entire closure report. I had seen the letter dated 10.01.2002 on
judicial file of FIR no.416/84 PS Delhi Cantt. it is a letter from
Sh. Kulmohan Singh, General Secretary, Delhi Sikh
Gurudwara Management Committee requesting for reopening
of the case in view of the availability of Smt. Jagdish Kaur. I
do not agree that here from that is year 2002 the third time the
investigation again started afresh.”

165. PW-17 was clear that the incident involving the deaths of the husband
and son of PW-1 “was not taken to the logical conclusion”.

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166. The argument that the charge sheet filed in the present case should
have made reference to the allegations of mishandling of the investigations
undertaken by the Delhi Police and the Riot Cell is without basis. This
became abundantly clear in the trial and through the documents brought on
record as well as the statement of the witnesses. Consequently, the Court is
not impressed with the argument that the CBI targeted A-1 and the other
accused and deliberately misrepresented the records to secure their
convictions. This contention is firmly rejected by this Court.

Order framing charges against A-1 upheld
167.1. The submission that the CBI could not have proceeded with the trial
deserves to be rejected also on account of the fact that the order framing
charges against A-1 was made the subject matter of a challenge before this
Court in its decision in Sajjan Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation
171 (2010) DLT 120 which was later upheld by the Supreme Court in
Sajjan Kumar v. Central Bureau of Investigation (2010) 9 SCC 368. The
fact of the filing of the closure report earlier and then the registration of the
FIR by the CBI was noted by the Supreme Court in its judgment as under:

“The present case arises out of 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases in
which thousands of Sikhs were killed. Delhi Police has made
this case a part of FIR No. 416 of 1984 registered at Police
Station Delhi Cantt. In this FIR, 24 complaints were
investigated pertaining to more than 60 deaths in the area. As
many as 5 charge- sheets were filed by Delhi Police relating to
5 deaths which resulted in acquittals. One supplementary
charge-sheet about robbery, rioting, etc. was also filed which
also ended in acquittal. The investigation pertaining to the
death of the family members of Smt. Jagadish Kaur, PW 1 was
reopened by the Anti-Riot Cell of Delhi Police in the year 2002

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and after investigation, a closure report was filed in the court
on 15-12-2005/22-12-2005.

After filing of the closure report in the present case, on 31-7-
2008, a status report was filed by Delhi Police before the
Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House Court, New Delhi.
Pursuant to the recommendation of Justice Nanavati
Commission, the Government of India entrusted the
investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (hereinafter
referred to as “CBI”), on 24-10-2005. On receipt of the said
communication, the respondent CBI registered a formal FIR on
22-11-2005. The closure report was filed by Delhi Police on
15-12-2005/22-12-2005, when a case had already been
registered by CBI on 22-11-2005 and the documents had
already been transferred to the respondent CBI.

After fresh investigation, CBI filed a charge-sheet bearing No.
1/2010 in the present case on 13-1-2010. After committal,
charges were framed on 15-5-2010. At the same time, the
appellant has also filed a petition for discharge raising various
grounds in support of his claim. Since he was not successful
before the Special Court, he filed a revision before the High
Court and by the impugned order dated 19-7-2010, after
finding no merit in the case of the appellant, the High Court
dismissed his criminal revision and directed the trial court for
early completion of the trial since the same is pending from
1984.”

167.2. The Supreme Court upheld the charges framed against A-1. The
Supreme Court was conscious of the fact that the witnesses named by the
prosecution “did not whisper a word about the involvement of the appellant
at the earliest point of time”, but the Judge concerned had to appreciate
their evidentiary value, credibility, or otherwise and was free to take a
decision one way or the other at the trial. The Supreme Court also dealt
with the submissions made on behalf of A-1 that, in view of the closure

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report filed by the Delhi Police, the CBI was not justified in reopening the
case “merely on the basis of the observations made by Justice Nanavati
Commission”. The Supreme Court made a note of the conclusion reached
by the Delhi Police in its status report dated 31st July 2008 as under:

“From the investigation and verification made so far it was
revealed that:

(a) There is no eye witness to support the version of the
complaint of Smt. Jagdish Kaur

(b) The complaints and affidavits made by Smt Jagdish Kaur
are having huge contradictions:

(i) In her first statement recorded by local police
during the investigation, she did not name any
person specifically and also stated that she could
not identify anyone among the mob.

(ii) She even did not name Shri Sajjan Kaur in her
statement recorded by the IO of the Special Riot
Cell after a gap of seven years

(iii) She suspected the involvement of one congress
leader Balwan Khokar in these riots but she had
not seen him personally. She was told by one Om
Prakash who was the colleague of her husband,
about the killing of her husband and son.

In the statement recorded on 22-1-2993 under Section 161 Cr
PC during the course of further investigation, the witness Om
Prakash stated that he had seen nothing about the riots. Jagdish
Kaur stayed at his house from 1-11-1984 to 3-11-1984 but she
did not mention the name of any person who was indulged in
the killing of her husband and son.”

167.3. Thereafter, the Supreme Court observed as under:

“It is seen from the report that taking note of lot of
contradictions in the statement of Jagdish Kaur, PW 1 before
the Commissions and before different investigating officers
and after getting legal opinion from the Public Prosecutor,
closure report was prepared and filed before the Metropolitan
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Magistrate, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi on 31-7-2008. It
is further seen that before accepting the closure report, the
Magistrate issued summons to the complainant i.e. Smt Jagdish
Kaur number of times and same were duly served upon her by
the officers of the Special Riot Cell but she did not appear
before the court. In view of the same, the Magistrate, on going
through the report and after hearing the submissions and after
noting that the matter under consideration is being further
investigated by CBI and the investigation is still pending and
after finding that no definite opinion can be given in respect of
the closure report, without passing any order closed the matter
giving liberty to the prosecution to move appropriate motion as
and when required.”

167.4. The Supreme Court, therefore, considered it necessary to observe
that since the learned MM had declined to give any definite opinion about
the closure report, as the same was under investigation by the CBI, “no
further probe/enquiry on this aspect is required”. Lastly, relying on the
decision in Vakil Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar (2009) 3 SCC 355, the
learned counsel for A-1 had argued before the Supreme Court that “re-
opening the case merely on the basis of certain statements made after a gap
of 23 years cannot be accepted and according to him, it would go against
the protection provided under Article 21 of the Constitution”. This too was
rejected by observing as under:

“Considering the factual position therein, namely, alleged
demand of a sum of Rs. 1,000/- as illegal gratification for
release of payment for the civil work executed by a contractor,
a charge was laid against Assistant Engineer in the Bihar State
Electricity Board and taking note of considerable length of
delay and insufficient materials, based on the above principles,
ultimately the Court after finding that further continuance of
criminal proceedings pending against the appellant therein is
unwarranted and quashed the same. Though the principles

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enunciated in the said decision have to be adhered to,
considering the factual position being an extraordinary one, the
ultimate decision quashing the criminal proceedings cannot be
applied straightway.”

167.5. The Supreme Court then observed that the principles enunciated in
Abdul Rehman Antulay v. R. S. Naik (1992) 1 SCC 225 were only
illustrative and “merely because of long delay, the case of the prosecution
cannot be closed”. The Supreme Court further observed that though delay
may be a relevant ground, “in light of the material available to the Court
through the CBI, without testing the same at the trial, the proceedings
cannot be quashed merely on the ground of delay”. It held that those
materials had to be “tested in the context of prejudice to the accused only at
the trial”. The Supreme Court finally concluded that the framing of charges
against A-1 by the trial Court was not bad in law or an abuse of process of
law or without any material.

168. Consequently, the central submission made on behalf of A-1, alleging
that the CBI was deliberately targeting him, loses all steam.

Admissibility of statements made before the Commissions of Inquiry
169.1. Before proceeding to discuss the evidence of the principal witness
PW-1, this Court would like to deal with an issue concerning the
admissibility of the statements made before a CoI. In this context, the Court
would like to refer to the order passed by the learned Single Judge on
3rd August 2012 in Crl. Rev. P. 328/2012 (Sajjan Kumar v. Central Bureau
of Investigation), the Court set aside the following order passed by the trial
Court on 2nd June 2012 which concluded as under:

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“Interpretation given to Section 6 of the Act as referred to above
in Kehar Singh‟s judgement leaves no doubt that in the present
case bar under section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act will
be attracted and Section 6 is very much attracted and applicable
in this case. Question framed in this order is accordingly
answered to the effect that bar under section 6 of the
Commissions of Inquiry Act will be attracted so far as witness
Smt. Jagdish Kaur has been confronted or sought to be
contradicted with her affidavit Ex.PW1/A and Ex.PW1/B and her
statement Ex.PW1/C, which was given before Inquiry
Commissions.”

169.2. The question had earlier been left open by the trial Court until A-1
filed an application on 15th May 2012, requesting the trial Court to decide
the question of the admissibility of the statements made by PW-1 before the
CoIs before arguments could proceed. The trial Court sustained the
objections of the CBI in view of Section 6 of the CoI Act and the decision
of the Supreme Court in Kehar Singh v. State (Delhi Administration)
(1988) 3 SCC 609 and held that A-1 could not be permitted to confront
PW-1 in respect of her statements before the two CoIs (Ex.PW-1/A to C).

169.3. The learned Single Judge of this Court was of the view that the CBI
itself had, along with its charge sheet, placed PW-1‟s affidavits before the
CoIs as part of the documents relied upon by it. Despite the provisions
contained in Section 6 of the CoI Act, PW-1 had herself exclusively
referred to her affidavits before the CoIs. The said affidavits have been
proved in her examination-in-chief and no objection has been raised by any
of the parties regarding the admissibility of Ex.PW-1/A to C, either during
examination-in-chief or in cross-examination. The learned Single Judge
then proceeded to hold as under:

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 90 of 203

“Now therefore prosecution is estopped from raising objection
regarding cross examination of PW-1 Smt. Jagdish Kaur with
respect to Ex.PW1/A to C since this will amount to evidence,
which has not been subjected to cross examination being read
against the accused.

It is settled position of law that no evidence can be read against
the accused if not subjected to cross examination. The
implication would be that the affidavits Ex.PW1/A B and
statement PW1/C and the deposition to this effect will not be
read in favour of prosecution and against the accused.”

169.4. This Court accordingly set aside the order dated 2nd June 2012 of the
trial Court and directed that whole of the examination-in-chief and cross-
examination of PW-1 with respect to Ex.PW-1/A to C will be read in
evidence. This order having attained finality, this Court will proceed on that
basis while analyzing the evidence of PW-1.

Extraordinary circumstances leading to A-1 not being named

170. At the outset, it requires to be noticed that as far as the trial Court is
concerned, it held the evidence of PW-1 to be reliable insofar as the
culpability of the other accused, i.e. A-2 to A-6, were concerned. It
disbelieved PW-1 only on the role attributed to A-1. This was primarily on
account of the fact that, according to the trial Court, at the earliest
availability opportunity, PW-1 did not name A-1 as one of those involved.

171. The Court would like to begin in this context with the ground realities
where, on account of the power and influence wielded by A-1, there was
reluctance on the part of the police to proceed against him. These
circumstances have been adverted to earlier. It must also be recalled, as

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observed in Prithipal Singh (supra), “extraordinary situations demand
extraordinary remedies”.

172. In the Bilkis Bano case (supra), a Division Bench of the Bombay High
Court upheld the conviction of the accused for rape and murder during the
2002 Gujarat riots. The evidence of the prosecutrix was sought to be
attacked in view of omissions and contradictions in relation to the number
of people in the mob, the weapons they were carrying, and even the slogans
shouted by them. The Court rejected the contention and observed that on
account of tainted investigation, there were bound to be discrepancies in the
evidence. It was observed in paragraph 214 by the Bombay High Court as
under:

“As far as statement (Exh. 277) recorded by PW 23 is
concerned, the prosecutrix mentions about killing of her
relatives, hence, her daughter Saleha is covered in that
category. No doubt, there is non-disclosure of killing of
daughter in her two statements, i.e., FIR dated 4 th March, 2002
and the statements recorded on 7th and 13th March, 2002 by PW
42 and accused No.16 respectively. As far as FIR is concerned,
we have already observed that the police have on purpose not
recorded it correctly. As far as fax Exh. 57 is concerned, we
have already held that it was not sent by the prosecutrix. As far
as statement dated 7th and 13th March 2002 of the prosecutrix
are concerned, these cannot be scrutinized properly unless we
advert to the most important aspect of the case, i.e., the
investigation. The investigation has started at Limkheda Police
Station on 4th March, 2002 with recording of FIR Exh.56. The
investigation remained with Limkheda Police and thereafter
with Gujarat CID. However, there was negative progress in the
investigation as „A‟ Summary was filed before the Court of
Magistrate by Limkheda, Gujarat Police. The members of
National Human Rights Commission had interacted with the
prosecutrix and thereafter Writ Petition No.118 of 2003 which
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is marked as Exhibit 61 was filed in the Supreme Court by her.
The relevant FIR and her statements recorded by Limkheda,
Gujarat Police were annexed to the said Writ Petition Exh 61.
She prayed before the Supreme Court that the investigation of
her case be transferred from Gujarat Police to CBI and
investigated by CBI. On account of the tainted and biased
investigation, there are bound to be discrepancies in the
evidence of the Prosecutrix. However, once the CBI took over
the investigation and recorded the statements of the
Prosecutrix, it is noticed that there are no significant omissions
or contradictions.”

173. Even in the Bilkis Bano case (supra), it was argued for the accused
that despite several chances, no complaint was lodged by the witnesses
about the riot. It was observed that “when these witnesses found the police
non-cooperative or hostile, then naturally they were discouraged to lodge
any complaint at any place where they were staying. By lodging complaints
against Hindus who were in majority or the assailants who were also
Hindus, might have led to a situation more dangerous and traumatic and the
complainant could have invited further trouble”.

174. The Supreme Court dismissed the SLPs filed against above judgment
of the Bombay High Court in Bilkis Bano (supra) [See order dated
10th July 2017 in SLP (Crl.) 4290/2017 (R.S. Ramabhai v. CBI) and order
dated 20th November 2017 in SLP (Crl.) 7831/2017 (Intmis Abdul Saeed v.
CBI).

175. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Phoolka, the Court would also have to
bear in mind that till 2006, the victims of the 1984 riots had every reason to
believe that they had been abandoned. All the trials had ended in acquittals

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and the prospects indeed looked bleak that they could proceed against the
powerful persons involved. While in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases, the
Supreme Court did set up an SIT as was done in National Human Rights
Commission v. State of Gujarat (2009) 6 SCC 342, until 2017, no SIT was
constituted to investigate the 1984 riots.

176. The absence of a proper witness protection programme and its adverse
effect on the criminal justice system has been acknowledged by the
Supreme Court both in Zahira Habibullah Sheikh v State of Gujarat
(2006) 3 SCC 374 and in the National Human Rights Commission
(supra). In Zahira Habibullah Sheikh (supra), the Supreme Court
observed as under:

“41. The State has a definite role to play in protecting the
witnesses, to start with at least in sensitive cases involving
those in power, who has political patronage and could wield
muscle and money power, to avert trial getting tainted and
derailed and truth becoming a casualty. As a protector of its
citizens it has to ensure that during a trial in Court the witness
could safely depose truth without any fear of being haunted by
those against whom he had deposed. Every State has a
constitutional obligation and duty to protect the life and liberty
of its citizens. That is the fundamental requirement for
observance of the rule of law. There cannot be any deviation
from this requirement because of any extraneous factors like,
caste, creed, religion, political belief or ideology. Every State is
supposed to know these fundamental requirements and this
needs no reiteration. We can only say this with regard to the
criticism levelled against the State of Gujarat. Some legislative
enactments like the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1987 (in short the “TADA Act”) have taken
note of the reluctance shown by witnesses to depose against
people with muscle power, money power or political power
which has become the order of the day. If ultimately truth is to
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be arrived at, the eyes and ears of justice have to be protected
so that the interests of justice do not get incapacitated in the
sense of making the proceedings before Courts mere mock
trials as are usually seen in movies.

42. Legislative measures to emphasise prohibition against
tampering with witness, victim or informant have become the
imminent and inevitable need of the day. Conducts which
illegitimately affect the presentation of evidence in proceedings
before the Courts have to be seriously and sternly dealt with.
There should not be any undue anxiety to only protect the
interest of the accused. That would be unfair, as noted above,
to the needs of the society. On the contrary, efforts should be to
ensure fair trial where the accused and the prosecution both get
a fair deal. Public interest in the proper administration of
justice must be given as much importance if not more, as the
interest of the Individual accused. In this Courts have a vital
role to play.”

177. Again, in National Human Rights Commission (supra), the Supreme
Court observed as under:

“Broader public and societal interests require that the victims
of the crime who are not ordinarily parties to prosecution and
the interests of the State represented by their prosecuting
agencies do not suffer even in slow process but irreversibly and
irretrievably, which if allowed would undermine and destroy
public confidence in the administration of justice, which may
ultimately pave way for anarchy, oppression and injustice
resulting in complete breakdown and collapse of the edifice of
rule of law, enshrined and jealously guarded and protected the
witness. Time has come when serious and undiluted thoughts
are to be bestowed for protecting witnesses so that the ultimate
truth is presented before the court and justice triumphs and that
the trial is not reduced to a mockery.”

Analysis of the evidence of PW-1

178. It is in this backdrop that the Court proceeds to examine the
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depositions of PW-1. In her very first affidavit before the Justice Ranganath
Misra Commission dated 7th September 1985 (Ex.PW-1/A), she referred to
the attack on 1st November 1984 and stated that it was “perfectly
organized”. She noted that “the mob had the names, addresses and
particulars, about every Sikh living in our locality”. She stated that many
Congress leaders were leading the mob and she named A-2, Maha Singh,
and Santosh Rani (also known as Janta Hawaldarni). Her pleas for their
help were rebuffed by them. She then referred to the attack on her husband
and son. She also mentioned the attack at around 6 am on
2nd November 1984 on her three brothers, viz. Narender Pal Singh,
Raghuvinder Singh, and Kuldeep Singh who she states were “hiding on top
of their house in front of our building”. Among the persons named by her as
those who killed her brothers were A-4 and A-5.

179. PW-1 then mentioned going to PP Palam Colony and the refusal to
register a report by saying, “Hum kis kis kee baat sune, Sikh to bahut mar
rahen hen, jo kuchh hoga sab ke saath ikathha hoga”

180. PW-1 mentioned Balram, a local youth Congress leader supplying
kerosene oil to the mob and that he had a depot in Palam Colony. She
mentioned about being taken on 3rd November 1984 to PS Palam Nagar at
2 pm in the police van where they registered her report. She then states that
she was taken to the Sadar Gurudwara camp in Delhi Cantonment in an Air
Force van.

181. It is true that before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, she did
not mention the role of A-1. However, in her original affidavit before the
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Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/B), her statement in para 4 was
that “MP Sajjan Kumar was leading the mob”. She further stated clearly
about the killings of her son and husband on 1st November 1984 and the
killings of her three brothers on 2nd November 1984. She further narrates
how she went to the PS on that date to file a report but no one listened to
her and that on 3rd November 1984, when she went to the PS, they entered
the report “but after that no action was taken by the police”. In para 7, she
again mentioned:

“That I can identify the leader of the mob Mr. Sajjan Kumar
M.P. because few days back he visited our mohalla regarding
sewerage water problem. Local congress worker Sh. Mann
Singh Chand Capt. Bhag Mal were also accompanying this
mob.”

182. The third mention of A-1 in the affidavit is in para 9 which is as under:

“That on 2.11.1984 in the morning when I approached the
police station in the way near mandir Manglapuri abovesaid
M.P. Sajjan Kumar was organising a meeting and addressing
that “Sardar Sala Koi Nahi Bachna Chahida” any Hindu if
found giving shelter to them should also be burned.”

183. There is also the statement made by her before the Justice Nanavati
Commission (Ex.PW-1/C) where she referred to the meeting held in the
morning of 2nd November 1984 addressed by A-1 and his declaring that
“whoever kept Sikhs in his house, his house will also been burnt”. This
statement was made on 8th January 2002.

184. The documents placed on record about her loss claim made on
13th November 1984, no doubt only indicates the loss of property but this,
given the circumstances spoken to above, can hardly be said to discredit her

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testimony.

185. Her statement as recorded by SI Arjun Singh on 20th January 1985
(Ex. DW-4/B) does not inspire much confidence. The documents show that
she perhaps was not in Delhi at that time. In her testimony, she had given
details of where she lived in the period intervening 12th December 1984 and
November 1988. The two IOs from the CBI, viz. PWs 15 and 17, have
verified these details to be correct. In her statement before the Justice
Nanavati Commission made on 8th January 2002, she stated that she had
shifted to Amritsar on 12th December 1984.

186. Although ACP Ashok Kumar Saxena (DW-4) sought to prove the said
statement, he himself admitted that he was not conversant in the Urdu
language. On the other hand, PW-15 was clear that the veracity of that
statement was doubtful. Likewise, PW-17 deposed that despite his best
efforts, SI Arjun Singh who purportedly recorded that statement could not
be traced. The Hindi version of the statement shows that it appears to have
been tailor-made to screen the offenders. It states how the assailants came
from the rear side of the house by breaking the rear wall. This was
obviously inserted so that she could not have possibly seen who had
murdered her husband and son. Also, this statement is completely silent
about the murder of her three brothers. The Court, therefore, is in
agreement with the learned SPP for the CBI that this purported statement
ought to be discarded.

187. As far as the statement dated 31st December 1992 (Ex.DW-16/A) is
concerned, this was purportedly recorded by Inspector B. D. Tyagi of the
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Riot Cell. PW-1, of course, has denied making any statement or even
appearing before the Riot Cell at any point in time. In November 1988,
PW-1 moved to the Dangapeedit Colony in Amritsar. On the document
(Ex.DW-16/A), however, her address is given as 1713, Nanakpura,
Amritsar, which appears to be lifted from the affidavit filed by her before
the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission. PW-17 explained that on
28th December 1992, a notice was sent to her for her presence at Delhi. This
notice was sought to be served through the SSP, Amritsar. It could not be
served for want of address. In the circumstances, it is highly doubtful that
she, of her own accord, simply appeared before the Riot Cell.

188. Constable Mohan Singh (DW-13) could not help in proving the
handwriting of Inspector B. D. Tyagi. Inspector Man Chand (DW-16), who
purportedly identified the handwriting of Inspector B. D. Tyagi, admitted
that he knew nothing about the document. He also admitted that a statement
of a female witness was ordinarily recorded at her residence and not in the
PS. There is no entry in Ex.DW-16/DA, i.e. the DDR of the Riots Cell,
about the arrival and departure of PW-1. There is merit in the contention of
Mr. Cheema about the said document actually being a forged one. He has
pointed out the following factors which bear it out:

(i) It shifts the occurrence on 1st November 1984 to 6 am in the
morning;

(ii) The maker of the statement maintains that she did not identify any
member of the mob;

(iii) The statement describes Om Parkash as a neighbor; he is proved to
have lived at some distance;

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(iv) It is further recorded that she stayed at her house with her children on
the night of 2nd November 1984;

(v) The date of her statement dated 3rd November 1984 at PP Palam
Colony is changed to 2nd November 1984. This statement further
records that her cousin brothers were killed on 2nd November 1984
but she knew nothing about that occurrence. It was specifically
recorded that she did not know English, obviously to destroy the
affidavit marked as Ex.PW-1/A.

189. The above factors, in the considered view of the Court, are sufficient
to reject the so-called statement of PW-1 recorded by the Riots Cell on
31st December 1992.

190. The endorsements on the summonses under Section 160 Cr PC
purportedly made by the daughter and son of PW-1 on the basis of her
dictation have also been heavily relied upon by the defence. Therein she is
supposed to have stated that she does not want to make any further
statement and that she would accept any decision taken by the Government.
Inspector Sushil Kumar (DW-15) who was examined for proving Ex.PW-
1/DX claimed that he had made a DDR entry at the PP Sultan Cantonment
(District Amritsar), but admitted that he never obtained a copy of the said
DDR. He admitted that neither he nor Constable Bhoop Singh, who had
accompanied him from Delhi, nor Constable Mangal Dass of the local PP
had been made a witness on the reports recorded on the summonses.
Further, PW-1 was conversant in Punjabi and, therefore, there was no
question of her depending on someone else for making endorsements of the

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kind. It does appear that these writings are not in the handwriting of PW-1
at all.

191. As far as her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission
is concerned, PW-1 stated that she had made the statement originally in
Punjabi and that the contents were also recorded in Punjabi, but a person
again came with an English translation and she signed it believing it was
true. Obviously, the statement was not read out and explained to her. This
explains how she claimed that she had named A-1 in this affidavit but when
confronted, it is found absent. As pointed out by Mr. Cheema, the
translation of the said affidavit does appear to be defective and casual and
has “apparent errors, gaps, and sequential mis-arrangements”. He has
pointed out, in particular, the following aspects of that affidavit:

“(i) In sub para (ii), there is a reference to the military
burning the Sikhs, which was got clarified by the
Commission and the witness clearly stated that the
military did not indulge in any rioting. Similarly,
reference to the role of army in para (viii) is extraneous
to what the witness may have stated.

(ii) In sub para (iii), after the name of mobsters, the
following words appear:-

“When the attack on Sikhs was going on, I
requested the persons listed above to help us. But
they replied very rudely “our meeting is going to
take place, we have no time, we will see it after
the meeting”

The said words make no sense at all.

(iii) In sub para (vi), the location of the place where the
cousin brothers of the witness were hiding, has been
misstated because of the erroneous translation.

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(iv) Further in sub para (vi) after the names of the culprits,
again there is a missing link around the words „Police
Station. They refused to register my report saying “Hum
kis kis kee baant sune, sikh to bahut mar rahen hen, jo
kuchh hoga sab ke saath ikathha hoga.‟”

192. There is, therefore, merit in the contention of Mr. Cheema that the
original statement of PW-1 in Punjabi has been lost in “crude, erroneous
and perhaps motivated translation” when it was presented before the Justice
Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-1/A). Indeed, this affidavit
presented by her has to be read in that context. She did claim in her
deposition before the Court that while making this statement, she had
named A-1 in her affidavit but it did not find mention in the English
translation. This statement of hers indeed cannot be brushed aside. The
following observations in Manohar Lal (supra) are relevant in this context:

“5. Learned counsel for the appellants made an unsuccessful
endeavour to create a dent on the concurrent findings regarding
culpability of the appellants. He mainly relied on an affidavit
signed by PW-1. It was marked in the trial court as Ext. PW-
1/A. The endeavour was to show that PW-1 had gone to the
extent of saying that the marauders killed even Shantibai, her
daughter-in-law (wife of Darshan Singh) by burning her. True
such a version is found in the affidavit prepared in English. It
is also stated in the affidavit that she recognised Mannu and
Jagga among the killers who dragged her sons out and set them
ablaze. In fact Shantibai was not attacked by the killers. She is
alive even now. Evidently that part of the affidavit is wrong.

6. Incorporation of such a wrong information in the affidavit is
hardly sufficient to throw the testimony of PW-1 overboard. It
might be that she had unwittingly formed such a wrong
impression earlier at the first instance or that she herself is

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innocent of that part of the affidavit. Even in the court she was
not able to vouchsafe to the truth of what all things inscribed in
the affidavit because apart from the fact that she affixed her
signature in the affidavit she did not know what all were
written therein. Neither the person who drafted the affidavit
nor the typist who typed it has been examined as witness. We
are therefore not persuaded to reject the testimony of PW-1
mother merely on the strength of the aforesaid wrong
information crept in the affidavit.”

193. Next, we turn to the affidavit filed by PW-1 before the Justice
Nanavati Commission. What stands out as far as this affidavit is concerned
is the naming of A-1. Mr. Sibal has made extensive submissions on the
contradictions in her deposition in the Court where she stated that she saw
A-1 addressing a meeting on the morning of 2nd November 1984 where he
was urging the mob to kill all the Sikhs and not spare even Hindus who
were sheltering the Sikhs and that he was in fact leading the mob.

194. To appreciate his submissions, it is necessary to revert to PW-1‟s
statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission where, in para 4, she
says that A-1 was “leading the mob” and, in para 7, she states that she could
identify “the leader of the mob Mr. Sajjan Kumar, MP”. Then, we have her
deposition in Court on 1st July 2010 where she stated how, at around 9 am
on 2nd November 1984, A-1 was coming out of a meeting and was declaring
“Sikh sala ek nahi bachna chahiyen, jo hindu bhai unko saran de uska ghar
bhi jala do aur unko bhi maro”. Her examination-in-chief continued on a
day to day basis from 1st July 2010 onwards. On 3rd July 2010, when asked
by the Public Prosecutor to identify A-1 in Court, she identified him
correctly. She also correctly pointed out A-2, A-4, and A-5.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 103 of 203

195. The Court has also carefully perused the cross-examination of PW-1
where she was confronted with her affidavits before the Justice Ranganath
Misra Commission, the Justice Nanavati Commission, her statement under
Section 161 Cr PC, and her statement under Section 164 Cr PC. She was
separately cross-examined by counsel for each of the accused. As pointed
out by Mr. Cheema, her cross-examination runs into 78 typed pages. It
commenced on 3rd July 2010 and continued on 8th July 2010, 9th July 2010,
12th July 2010, 15th July 2010, 16th July 2010, 23rd July 2010,
26th July 2010, 27th July 2010, 28th July 2010, and 29th July 2010.

196. Her cross-examination by learned counsel for A-1 commenced on
2nd August 2010 and continued on 10th August 2010, 12th August 2010,
29th September 2010. Thus, for nearly three months between 1st July 2010
and 1st October 2010, PW-1 was literally in the box and was grilled over
and over again about all her previous statements including those made
before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission and the Justice Nanavati
Commission.

197. On behalf of each of the accused, detailed analysis was made of her
evidence intended to point out the contradictions in her previous statements
when compared to her depositions before trial Court. The attempt was to
show that she is both an untruthful and an unreliable witness. It was
submitted that, being an interested witness, her evidence should be viewed
with great caution and where she is not corroborated by any of the other
witnesses, her evidence should be held to be unreliable and untruthful. In
this regard, the well-settled legal position in relation to interested witnesses
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requires recapitulation.

198. In Dalip Singh v. State of Punjab 1954 SCR 145, the Supreme Court
explained:

“A witness is normally to be considered independent unless he
or she springs from sources which are likely to be tainted and
that usually means unless the witness has cause, such as
enmity against the accused, to wish to implicate him falsely.
Ordinarily, a close relative would be the last to screen the real
culprit and falsely implicate an innocent person. It is true,
when feelings run high and there is personal cause for enmity,
that there is a tendency to drag in an innocent person against
whom a witness has a grudge along with the guilty, but
foundation must be laid for such a criticism and the mere fact
of relationship far from being a foundation is often a sure
guarantee of truth. However, we are not attempting any
sweeping generalisation. Each case must be judged on its own
facts. Our observations are only made to combat what is so
often put forward in cases before us as a general rule of
prudence. There is no such general rule. Each case must be
limited to and be governed by its own facts.”

199. In Darya Singh v. State of Punjab (1964) 3 SCR 397, it was observed
by the Supreme Court as under:

“There can be no doubt that in a murder case when evidence is
given by near relatives of the victim and the murder is alleged
to have been committed by the enemy of the family, criminal
courts must examine the evidence of the interested witnesses,
like the relatives of the victim, very carefully. But a person
may be interested in the victim, being his relation or otherwise,
and may not necessarily be hostile to the accused. In that case,
the fact that the witness was related to the victim or was his
friend, may not necessarily introduce any infirmity in his
evidence. But where the witness is a close relation of the
victim and is shown to share the victim’s hostility to his
assailant, that naturally makes it necessary for the criminal
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courts to examine the evidence given by such witness very
carefully and scrutinise all the infirmities in that evidence
before deciding to act upon it… [I]t may be relevant to
remember that though the witness is hostile to the assailant, it
is not likely that he would deliberately omit to name the real
assailant and substitute in his place the name of the enemy of
the family out of malice. The desire to punish the victim would
be so powerful in his mind that he would unhesitatingly name
the real assailant and would not think of substituting in his
place the enemy of the family though he was not concerned
with the assault. It is not improbable that in giving evidence,
such a witness may name the real assailant and may add other
persons out of malice and enmity and that is a factor which has
to be borne in mind in appreciating the evidence of interested
witnesses. On principle, however, it is difficult to accept the
plea that if a witness is shown to be a relative of the deceased
and it is also shown that he shared the hostility of the victim
towards the assailant, his evidence can never be accepted
unless it is corroborated on material particulars.”

200. In Jayabalan v. UT of Pondicherry (2010) 1 SCC 199, the Supreme
Court held as under:

“We are of the considered view that in cases where the court is
called upon to deal with the evidence of the interested
witnesses, the approach of the court, while appreciating the
evidence of such witnesses must not be pedantic. The court
must be cautious in appreciating and accepting the evidence
given by the interested witnesses but the court must not be
suspicious of such evidence. The primary endeavour of the
court must be to look for consistency.”

201. The legal position was succinctly encapsulated in Raju v. State of
Tamil Nadu AIR 2013 SC 983:

“…..we are concerned with four categories of witnesses – a
third party disinterested and unrelated witness (such as a
bystander or passer-by); a third party interested witness (such

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as a trap witness); a related and therefore an interested witness
(such as the wife of the victim) having an interest in seeing
that the accused is punished; a related and therefore an
interested witness (such as the wife or brother of the victim)
having an interest in seeing the accused punished and also
having some enmity with the accused. But, more than the
categorization of a witness, the issue really is one of
appreciation of the evidence of a witness. A court should
examine the evidence of a related and interested witness
having an interest in seeing the accused punished and also
having some enmity with the accused with greater care and
caution than the evidence of a third party disinterested and
unrelated witness. This is all that is expected and required.”

202. Thus, the legal position which emerges from the decisions of the
Supreme Court cited above is that in evaluating the evidence of an
interested witness, the Court must scrutinise their evidence carefully so as
to ascertain whether it has the ring of truth. While their testimony is not to
be viewed with suspicion merely because of their relationship with the
victim, the Court must be satisfied that it is consistent and cogent.

203. This Court has already referred to the statements of PW-1 before the
two CoIs as well as her statements by way of examination-in-chief. The
contents of her affidavit are her previous statements in writing and can be
used, as stated in Sections 145 and 155(3) IEA, to impeach the credibility
of the witness. These affidavits have to be specifically put to the witness to
confront her. Reading an earlier affidavit in its entirety as an admission is
not what is contemplated under Sections 145 or Section 155(3) IEA.

204. Mr. Cheema has read the Punjabi version of the affidavit before the
Justice Nanavati Commission where the words used are “Eh Ki Iss Hajoom

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Dee Agvai Saade Halqa Da M.P.Sajjan Kumar Kar Riha Hai”. He
explains, by referring to the Punjabi English dictionary printed by the
Punjab University First Edition, that the word „Agvai‟ has varied meanings.
One of its connotations is guidance or assertion. When understood in this
context, there is no seeming contradiction in her statement in the affidavit
before the Justice Nanavati Commission and what she was deposing in the
trial.

205. The submission on behalf of counsel for the accused that the second
page of the affidavit of PW-1 before the Justice Nanavati Commission was
a forgery does not appear to be correct. The Justice Nanavati Commission
itself in its report noted the contents of para 9 of the affidavit which is on
the second page of that affidavit. The suggestion of the defence that this
page was replaced later deserves to be discarded.

206. Her statements in the cross-examination have been carefully examined
by this Court. What she appears to be clear about is that she indeed gave a
complaint to the police on 3rd November 1984 and that she did not give any
statement either on 20th January 1985 when she was in Amritsar or on
31st December 1992 before the Riot Cell in Delhi. She denied these
suggestions categorically. She is very categorical that when she received
summons in 2003 from the police, she did not go before them or even to the
Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee („SGPC‟) seeking
protection. She stated that “since the summons was received from the
police and I was scared of police and did not trust them, therefore, I did not
go to SGPC”.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 108 of 203

207. According to PW-1, she did not receive any summons in 2004 stating
that she had to make a statement before a Magistrate. As far as the
endorsement made on the summons (Ex.PW-1/DC) is concerned, she is
clear that only the signature was hers and that the writing was not.

208. When grilled about her naming A-4 and A-5, PW-1 denied the
suggestion that she had named them at the instance of the CBI and
volunteered that “many persons were residing in the mohalla but I gave the
names of only those persons who were the mobsters and not of the entire
mohalla”. She denied the suggestion that A-4 and A-5 “are nowhere
connected with the riots or that they have been made scapegoats”. In other
words, the concerted attempts to break PW-1 and to demonstrate that she
was not speaking the truth, failed.

209. Attention was drawn to PW-1‟s failure to name PW-6 in her affidavit
before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-1/A) and in her
affidavit and statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission
(Ex.PW-1/B and C). She was confronted with all three exhibits when she
stated in cross-examination that she could not remember whether she had
mentioned his name in those proceedings. However, she maintained that
she did mention the name of A-1 even before the Justice Ranganath Misra
Commission although it is not recorded there.

210. PW-1 denied the suggestion put to her that CBI officials showed her
and her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-
1/A) on 11th April 2009 when they recorded her supplementary statement
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(Ex.PW-17/DB). In her repeated cross-examination by counsel for A-1, she
volunteered, “I do not like to speak about Delhi Police because they were
the culprits/murderers and killers”. She denied firmly the suggestion that
she had been tutored to blame the Delhi Police. The following answers also
bring out the clarity of PW-1‟s deposition:

“It is correct that I have referred the police officials as killers
and murderer for the first time in this court because I was not
asked earlier. It is correct that in the year 2003 I had received
summons from Delhi Police. Same is Ex.PW1/DX and my
signature on this summons are at point A and, B Name of my
daughter is Gurjeet Kaur. Endorsement on the summons from
portion X to X has been read over to the witness and she states
that this portion was not dictated by her nor was written at her
instance and this endorsement is not in the handwriting of my
daughter Gurjeet Kaur. Endorsement from point Y to Y on Ex.
PW1/DX is also read over the witness and she states that it was
neither written by her daughter nor at her instance. I cannot
identify signatures of my daughter. I cannot say if at point C is
the signature of my daughter Gurjeet Kaur. This summons was
brought at my house at Amritsar. My daughter is Gurjeet Kaur
is educated. It is incorrect to suggest that my daughter
mentioned on the summons that the endorsement at point X to
X and Y to Y have been written by her at my instance. It is
incorrect to suggest that I have been tutored to disown these
endorsements or that by doing so I am trying to suppress the
truth. I do not remember if the person who had brought the
summons was accompanied by any local police or not. It is
incorrect to suggest that HC Mangal Dass, of local police had
accompanied the process server and he made me understand in
Punjabi that in case I do not want to go to Delhi then I can give
the statement before a Magistrate at Amritsar. I had simply
signed the summons as I was told by them to sign the summons
irrespective of the fact whether I wanted to appear before the
court at Delhi or not as his senior officer do not believe that the
summons have been handed over to me. No such endorsement
was made on the summons when I signed the same. It is
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incorrect to suggest that when I signed the summons,
endorsements were already there.”

211. PW-1 was also able to denounce the endorsement on the summons
(Ex.PW-1/DY) as under:

“I have seen summons Ex.PW1/DY, it bears my signature at
point A. It is correct that name of my son is Gurdeep Singh. He
has come with me today in the court. I cannot identify
signature of my son Gurdeep Singh. It is incorrect to suggest
that endorsement from portion X to X is in the hand of my son
Gurdeep Singh or is at my stance. Vol. (volunteered) The
witness has referred to the manner in which this endorsement is
made by stating that last three lines have been written in a very
close manner and if at all this endorsement was written prior to
her signature, then her signature would not have been at point
A but would have been somewhere near point X.”

212. What comes across, therefore, is that this is a strong witness who was
firm in her cross-examination which went on for almost two months.
Specific to A-1, the confrontations of PW-1 during the cross-examination
have been recorded as under:

“I have been stating in my earlier statements and affidavits that
someone told me that MP has visited that place a meeting is
going on. Confronted with statements Ex PW1/A, Ex. PW1IB,
Ex. PWI/C, Ex. PW1/E, Mark A, B, C and Ex. PW1/DA,
where it is not so recorded. However it is pointed out by ld.
counsel for the CBI that in Ex. PW1/DA it is recorded that
‘before going to the police post I learnt that Sajjan Kumar,
Member of Parliament was conducting a meeting in that area’.
He also referred to statement u/sec. 164 Cr PC Ex. PW1/E
where it is mentioned that phir 10 baje mein phir chowki gai
menu pata laga ki sansad Sajjan Kumar meeting kar rahe hain.

Q. In your statement Ex.PW1/DA you have stated that” before
going to the police post, I learnt that Sajjan Kumar a Member

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of Parliament was conducting a meeting in that area and
whereas in your statement Ex.PW1/E you have stated that” phir
10 baje mein phir chowki gai menu pata laga ki sansad Sajjan
Kumar meeting kar rahe ham”. Which of the two version is
correct?

Ans. I had been stating that before reaching Police Post I came
to know that MP of the area had come and he was holding a
meeting and the discrepancy is due to mode of recording of
statement. I do not remember if I gave the name of the person
who gave this information to me but I was informed by a
person who used to be called by his nick name Dardi regarding
the meeting held by the MP. I do not remember but I have been
stating everywhere that I nurtured a hope that I would ask for
help from the MP and would be able to cremate my husband,
son and my brothers. Confronted with statements Ex. PW1/A,
Ex. PW1/B, Ex. PW1/C, Ex. PWI/E, Mark A, B, C and Ex.
FW1/DA, where it is not so recorded. It is pointed by Id.
counsel for the CBI that in statement u/s 164 CrPC Ex. PW1/E
it is mentioned that “I came to know that Sajjan Kumar,
Member of Parliament was addressing a meeting I hope that he
would help me”. He also, referred to statement Ex. PW1/DA,
where it is recorded “I felt that MP Sajan Kumar would help
me in saving the lives of my children and for cremating the
dead bodies of my husband and son”. I have been stating in all
my statements and affidavits that MP Sajjan Kumar came out
of the meeting after about 5 minutes and while standing on a
jeep he declared. Confronted with statements Ex. PWI/A, Ex.
PW1/B, Ex.PW1/C, Ex. PW1/E, Mark A, B, C and Ex.
PW1/DA, where it is not recorded as such. I do not remember
if I made any reference to the meeting addressed by Sajjan
Kumar in any of my ‘affidavits or statements before giving my
affidavit in Nanavati Commission. It is incorrect to suggest that
the introduction of Sajjan Kumar and his presence in the
meeting was introduced for the first time by the political
opponents of Sajjan Kumar and Gurudwara Persons (Akali
Dai).”

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 112 of 203

213. Therefore, even when grilled under the pressure of cross-examination,
this witness has stood firm and has clearly spoken to what, according to her,
was the truth surrounding the tragic events in the aftermath of the
assassination of the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

214. In light of that, the trial Court‟s analysis of the evidence of PW-1 in
the following words appears to be fully justified:

“I have taken scrutiny of criticism pointed out by defence
counsels on the testimony of this witness. I find evidence is in
a most natural way without suggesting any kind of
exaggeration or falsehood. She is a witness whose presence on
the scene of the crime appears very natural, it being her own
residential house. As seen above evidence is required to be
appreciated that police had failed to take any action concerning
those deaths which had taken place in the area and the rioting
mob had been indulging in killings and destruction of
properties. As it appears from report Ex.PWl/D that victims of
these crimes were to console themselves to bargain a monetary
compensation and State machinery was a complete failure and
at halt to check those crimes and to listen the victims.”

215. In fact, the trial Court on reading Ex.PW-1/A, i.e. the affidavit of PW-
1 before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission, observed that “there
appears no inconsistency in the version of the incident narrated in this
affidavit and then deposed by witness in the present trial” before going on
to conclude:

“There appears a ring of truth in the testimony of PW Jagdish
Kaur that she did see assault on her husband, she did reach the
place where she found her son injured and burnt and on the
brink of his life and she provided a few drops of water before
he breathed his last. Deposition given by the witness is a
natural form of evidence which appears suffering no infirmity.”

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 113 of 203

216. As correctly pointed out, there is absolutely no reason why PW-1
would substitute the real assailants with the names of others who are totally
innocent. Here was a woman who, after much struggle, had to perform the
cremation of her husband and son by lighting a funeral pyre with the help
of furniture and household clothes.

217. The trial Court rightly noted that the testimony of PW-1 proved that
A-2 was part of the mob that committed the murder of her husband and son
and that, on 2nd November 1984, A-4 and A-5 were part of the mob that
assaulted and killed Narender Pal Singh. It is indeed strange that having
accepted the testimony as regards the involvement of these three accused,
the trial Court performed a complete U-turn when it came to believing her
testimony as far as the involvement of A-1 was concerned. This time, the
trial Court observed that before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission,
PW-1 did not name A-1. Her statement before the Justice Nanavati
Commission (Ex.PW-1/B) has also been erroneously construed by the trial
Court as “evasive”. The further observation that her accusations as regards
A-1 were vague is also not borne out by the affidavit filed by her before the
Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/B) which she had by and large
reiterated in her deposition in the trial without any serious contradiction by
the counsel for the accused. She disputed the correctness of the translation
of what she had stated before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission
particularly on the aspect of her not having named A-1 therein.

218. What is even more remarkable about the evidence of PW-1 is that she
named A-2, A-4, and A-5 in her affidavit submitted before the Justice

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Ranganath Misra Commission (Ex.PW-1/A) and then named A-1 in her
affidavit submitted before the Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/B).
In her statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission (Ex.PW-1/C) she
refers to the earlier affidavit submitted by her before the Justice Ranganath
Misra Commission. She has remained consistent on naming those four
accused, viz. A-1, A-2, A-4, and A-5, when deposing in the trial in 2010,
many years later. She was clearly not exaggerating or improving upon her
previous statements as is sought to be suggested by counsel for A-1 and the
other three accused. If the statement of PW-1 before the Justice Nanavati
Commission is carefully perused, PW-1 naming A-1 and this being left out
from her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission appears
plausible. The following aspects pointed out by the prosecution are
significant in this regard:

“(a) DW 10 R.K. Jha Inspector was examined by the
defence. He has stated categorically that CBI was having
the record of commission of inquiry including affidavits
submitted by the witnesses and that there were 11/12
affidavits of 1984-85 in which the name of Sajjan
Kumar figured. The defence did not re examine him.

(b) It may be recalled that even in the last Status Report
filed by the riot cell (Ex. DW 15/C) dated 31.07.2008
there is a reference to an affidavit of Jasbir Singh
showing the involvement of Sajjan Kumar apparently
this affidavit was filed before the Ranganath Mishra
Commission in 1985. Strangely enough in the next line
the report closes the issue by stating that when Jasbir
Singh made a statement before the Committee on
27.12.1991 he did not reiterate these allegations. There
is another reference at page 368 to a similar affidavit by
Rajkumar regarding the holding of a meeting by Sajjan
Kumar in Mangolpuri area this again is wound up by
stating that Raj Kumar denied all allegations made in the
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affidavit on 30.12.1991 and did not name him in his
statement subsequently recorded by the Riot Cell.

(c) The various reports of the Riot Cell are an exercise in
justifying the conduct of the local police and nowhere
has the role of Sajjan Kumar been actually subjected to
scrutiny and investigation. Hence it is not a case where
the name of Sajjan Kumar is brought on the surface after
a long time it is rather a case where his name appears
and later the things are managed to erase the same.”

219. To this Court, PW-1 comes across as a fearless and truthful witness.
Till she was absolutely certain that her making statements will serve a
purpose, she did not come forward to do so. This is understandable given
the fact that all previous attempts at securing justice for the victims had
failed. The large number of acquittals in the cases demonstrated how the
investigation was completely botched-up. It also demonstrated the power
and influence of the accused and how witnesses could easily be won over.
The atmosphere of distrust created as a result of these developments would
have dissuaded the victims from coming forward to speak about what they
knew.

220. In the context of these cases, the factum of delay cannot be used to the
advantage of the accused but would, in fact, explain the minor
contradictions and inconsistencies in the statements of the key eye-
witnesses in the present case. Nothing in the deposition of PW-1 points to
either untruthfulness or unreliability. Her evidence deserves acceptance.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-3

221. The Court next turns to the evidence of PW-3 who turned hostile
during the trial. No doubt PW-3 went back on what he told the police
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during the investigation and, in fact, went to the extent of discrediting the
testimony of PW-1. He was clearly a witness who had been won over and
this was most unfortunate because it is not even disputed by the defence
that PW-3 was a person who helped some of the victims by giving them
shelter and having given them safe passage. Even so, he was able to be won
over by the accused who are clearly persons of great influence being
prominent political figures.

222. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Cheema, it is not as if the evidence of a
hostile witness requires to be discarded in toto. The law in this regard is
well settled. In Prithi v. State of Haryana (2010) 8 SCC 536, the Supreme
Court dealt with the admissibility of the evidence of a witness who was
cross-examined by the prosecution and held that it cannot be rejected in
toto merely because the prosecution treated him as hostile and cross-
examined him. It was observed that if a witness is declared hostile and is
cross-examined with the permission of the court, his testimony is
admissible and a conviction can be sought on the basis of his testimony if
corroborated by other evidence.

223. Similarly, in Khujji v. State of MP (1991) 3 SCC 627, the Supreme
Court held that the evidence of a hostile witness who has been cross-
examined by the prosecution cannot be treated as effaced or washed off the
record altogether. The same can be accepted to the extent it is found to be
dependable upon careful scrutiny and finds corroboration from other
evidence.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 117 of 203

224. In its decision in Rameshbhai Mohanbhai Koli v. State of Gujarat
(2011) 11 SCC 111, the Supreme Court held that the eye witnesses turning
hostile en bloc during trial would not dent the prosecution’s case where,
even though they might have lied on account of the influence of the
accused, the circumstances did not. Reiterating the above stated position,
the Supreme Court opined that after exercising due care to separate truth
from exaggeration, the Court can use the residual evidence, if sufficient, to
convict the accused.

225. There are elements of the evidence of PW-3 which continue to remain
uncontroverted and help the case of the prosecution. He described the
locations of the houses of PW-1, PW-6, DW-3, as well as his own. He
states how, when he came back home at 9-11 pm on 1st November 1984, he
learnt of the murders of Kehar Singh and his son Gurpreet Singh. He states
how the three deceased brothers were in fact hiding in the house of DW-3.
There was some confusion created by PW-3 as regards the time when the
brothers came out from hiding. Importantly, he acknowledges that PW-6
was a resident of the neighbourhood and that he knew him by his nickname
„Golu‟.

226. As rightly pointed out by Mr. Cheema, it is quite remarkable that PW-
3 admitted to being arrested by the police on the evening of
4th November 1994. This corroborates the contents of the entries in the
DDR (Ex.PW-16/B) and in particular the entry at Ex.PW-16/G-24. He
initially admitted that on the following day his brother took along with him
PW-6 to secure his release although later he substituted this with the father

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of PW-6.

227. The falsehood of his testimony are on issues of not knowing A-4 and
A-5 who lived in the same area and in stating that PW-1 and her children
had come to his house and stayed throughout the night of
1st November 1984 and left the next morning, i.e. on 2nd November 1984, in
a military van.

228. The trial Court was correct in the following analysis of his testimony:

“Testimony of PW3 provides a support and corroboration
when witness deposed that Kehar Singh and his son were killed
by mob on 01.11.1984 and this fact witness came to know
when he returned home on that day. Though witness was got
declared hostile but even otherwise according to prosecution
case he was not an eyewitness of killings of Kehar Singh and
his son.”

229. However, the trial Court erred in also relying on that portion of his
testimony where he turned hostile. This was not a trustworthy witness in the
sense that he helped the accused by trying to discredit the testimony of
PW-1. He, in fact, was not confronted by any of the counsel for the accused
because of his turning hostile. However, as pointed out hereinbefore, some
of the parts of his testimony do not contradict the case of the prosecution at
all and can be relied upon by it in support of its case.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-4

230. The Court then turns to the evidence of PW-4 who is the brother of
PW-6 and two of the deceased, i.e. Raghuvinder Singh and Narender Pal
Singh. He came into the scene on 8th November 1984 after he was helped

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by the Air Force to reach his house. He was already serving in the army as a
Corporal in Chakeri, Kanpur. He filed two complaints (Ex.PW-4/A and B)
concerning the killing of Raghuvinder Singh, Narender Pal Singh, and
Kuldeep Singh. PW-4 also proved that PW-6 was in fact a clean shaven
Sikh, i.e. a mona Sikh. The following are the material aspects of his
deposition:

(i) That PW-6 was a clean shaven person since his school days.

(ii) That PW-6 had been residing with his two other brothers and
Kuldeep Singh at H.No.RZ-15, Shiv Mandir Marg and the three
brothers were working as MES contractors.

(iii) That PW-6 was in Delhi at the relevant time and had met PW-4 in the
Gurudwara upon his visit after the occurrence.

231. The trial Court in this regard observed as under:

“Documents Ex.PW4/A and B show that a report dated
12.11.1984 was submitted to SHO Delhi Cantt. by PW4
Balvinder Singh and this informant Balvinder is the real
brother of two deceased of this case namely Raghuvinder
Singh and Narender Pal Singh. These two reports specifically
mentioned killings of Raghuvinder Singh and Narender pal
Singh and Kuldeep Singh in the incidents of 02.11.1984 at
around 06.30 hours and names of culprits were mentioned in
these two reports and those were no. 1) Bhagmal Singh, 2) Ex
Subedar Baldan Singh, 3) Ashok C/o Ex Subedar Baldan
Singh, 4) Dharamvir Singh, 5) Girdhari Lal, 6) Chand.
Admittedly no first information report was registered
concerning these deaths. Though local police claimed that such
kind of complaints being received were being kept with FIR
416/84 no action appeared to have been taken on these reports
except the claim of Delhi police to have recorded statement of
Jagdish Kaur on 20.01.1985 and her statement again recorded
by Riot cell in 1992 and both these statements have been
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strongly refuted by PW1 to have been given by her to the
police. No investigation appeared to have been taken up for
those killings of persons despite some of the culprits had been
named. I do agree with the arguments and contentions of ld.
public prosecutor that evidence of the star witness PW1 Smt.
Jagdish Kaur and other two material witnesses PW6 Jagsher
and PW10 Nirpreet Kaur and other relevant witnesses is to be
appreciated in this peculiar background of the case.”

232. The above analysis appears to be correct. What is significant is the
naming of A-4 and A-5 in the aforementioned report filed way back on
12th November 1984. Therefore, PW-4 is also definitely a witness in
support of the case of the prosecution.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-6

233. Next, taking up the evidence of PW-6, the principal criticism of his
deposition by the counsel for the accused is that he suddenly emerged
during the trial not having spoken at any time earlier since 1984. He is,
however, a crucial witness as regards the visits by A-1 in the area on the
night of 1st November 1984. The presence of PW-6 in the area is spoken to
by PW-3 himself and since PW-3 has not been contradicted by the defence
in the trial, they cannot possibly deny the presence of PW-6 at the spot.

234. PW-6 too was subjected to extensive cross-examination by the defence
and no answer could be elicited to discredit his testimony. The following
suggestion in fact brings this out clearly:

“It is incorrect to suggest that I was not in Raj Nagar Area
from 31.10.1984 till 03.11.1984 and that I came to Delhi along
with my father after the alleged incident. It is also incorrect to
suggest that I came to know the facts of this case when I
reached Delhi sometime either on 3rd or 4th of November,
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1984.”

235. If one peruses the statement given by PW-6 under Section 161 Cr PC
(Ex.PW-6/DA), it does appear that he spoke clearly. He too gave a
statement under Section 164 Cr PC where he named A-1.

236. The submission of Mr. Cheema that the defence has split the entire
cross-examination of PW-6 into “small disjointed sentences for the purpose
of confrontation” is indeed correct. The confrontation portion does not
bring out any major contradictions as can be seen below:

“I had probably stated before the Magistrate that as soon as I
entered that gali I saw one Sikh wrapped in a woollen shawl
was running forward by number of persons. I stopped there.
The mob called that Sikh gentlemen near the house of one
Manjeet Singh Kavi where one electric pole was installed. The
mob started beating him with rods and set him on fire when the
crowd disturbed a little I went over there and I saw that he was
my brother. I identified him as my brother Narender Pal Singh.
I identified him by his watch. Confronted with Ex. PW6/a
where it was no recorded. However, it is mentioned there that
“then I saw that rioters were following one man and I also saw
half burned body of Sardar lying there, who was my brother
Narender”.

I do not remember if I stated in my statement before the
magistrate that Major Yadav agreed to accompany me in order
to save my two other brothers and children. He took one
vehicle along with 7-8 jawans from Sikh regiment. Confronted
with statement Ex. PW6/A where it is not so recorded.
However, it is recorded in the statement that “Major Yadav had
gone along with this witness”.

….

Thereafter, I went to the house of Jagdish Kaur, Jagdish Kaur,
her younger son and three daughters were inside the house. I
also made them sit in that big vehicle. Confronted with
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statement Ex. PW 6/A where it is not so recorded. However it
is mentioned that “I went to Rajni‟s house where I was told
that my bhabis and their children are hiding in the bathroom”.”

237. He firmly denied the suggestion that he had been advised by the CBI
to falsely implicate persons. He stated, “I was only speaking the truth that
whosoever helped us even that person was arrested”. The following
question-answer exchange makes his deposition even more trustworthy:

“Is it correct that you have deposed before the court on
25.10.2010 that I was working in MES whereas in you
statement u/s 161 Cr PC you have stated that my brothers
Narender Pal and Raghuvinder Pal were MES contractor and I
used to assist them in their work whereas in your examination
in chief you have said that I was in MES contractor along with
my brothers. Which of your statement is correct?

Ans. All the three versions are correct.”

238. That PW-6 was a mona Sikh throughout came across in the following
manner:

“I had stated in my statement before CBI that I was called by
the nick names Bhola and Golu. My family were Sikhs by
religion. My brothers namely Narender pal Singh, Raghuvinder
Singh and Kuldeep Singh were keshdhari and they were also
having beard. I got my haircut from the school time itself. In
the year 1984, I was not having any beard as I was 17/18 years
old. Confronted with statement Ex. PW 6/DA where it is not so
recorded. However, factum of him being mona and 17/18 years
old is mentioned.”

239. On the crucial part of him being an eye-witness, he stated as under:

“I had stated in my statement to CBI that there was a window
above the bed, I stood on the bed and watched from the glass
on the upper part of the window, I saw that mob armed with

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lathies and sariyas had entered into the house of my sister
Jagdish Kaur and the side window was completely demolished.
The iron gate was also dismantled. Confronted with Ex.
PW6/DA, where it is not so recorded. However, it is recorded
“I stood on the „charpai‟ and from the upper part of the
window saw number of people (whom I cannot identify)
attacking the house of my sister Smt. Jagdish Kaur w/o Kehar
Singh”.

Probably I had stated in my statement before the CBI that
Kehar Singh fell inside the house itself. Confronted Ex. PW
6/DA, where it is not so recorded. However, it is record “from
that window pane, I could see that Kehar Singh and his son
Gurpreet Singh were dragged out of their house by the mob
and attacked them with iron rods. Both of them were crying
like hell and mob was then shouting. Kehar Singh fell down
there only.”

240. It is, therefore seen that a concerted attempt at breaking down PW-6
also failed. The actions of the mob were also spoken to by him at the very
first instance as under:

“I had stated in my statement that after locking the house when
I was going to the house of Rajni and reached Shiv Mandir
Marg, I saw mob coming from Palam village side leading to
Shiv Mandir Marg and raising slogans. Again said the mob
was coming from the road connecting Palam colony with
Palam village at the point where a road bifurcates into Shiv
Mandir Marg “jo Palam colony se Palam gaon ko road ja rahi
hai, uske upar se Shiv Mandir Marg ko ander ko road nikalti
hai” I saw the door of the house of Rajni closed, the mob was
raising slogans “in sikho ko maro; in gadharo ko maro;
Hindustan me ek sikh bhi zinda nahi bachna chahiye”.
Confronted with statement Ex. PW 6/DA where it is not so
recorded. However, it is recorded that “then in order to park
our motorcycle inside the house, I came back to our house,
park the motorcycle inside the house and was going back to the
house of Smt. Rajni when I heard lot of commotion and saw
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people coming running from the main road side immediately I
could make out that rioters have started troubles in our area
also, by that time due to that commotion Rajni had locked her
house from inside.”

241. The most harrowing moment was him taking the younger son of PW-1
to get his hair cut which is spoken about as under:

“I had stated in my statement to CBI that I came out of the
house and I was about to enter the house of Ram Avtar
Sharma, then I noticed Gurdeep, younger son of Jagdish Kaur,
I took him inside the house. I thought he would also be killed,
however, I cut his hair with a scissor lying in the house of Ram
Avtar Sharma. Confronted with Ex. PW 6/DA, where it was
not so recorded. However, it is recorded “then sensing further
trouble I took young Gurdeep s/o Kehar Singh to the residence
of Ram Avtar Sharma and cut his hair.”

242. The Court fails to understand why PW-6 would falsely implicate A-1.
These are persons who had suffered tragedies and had no reason to falsely
implicate anyone. It is also not as if they were naming all of the accused in
a blanket manner. These witnesses have named only the accused to whom
they can attribute a discernible role. Their testimony comes across as
natural and believable and has been rightly relied upon by the trial Court in
convicting A-2 to A-6. However, inexplicably, the trial Court leaves out
material portions of such evidence and has, therefore, wrongly acquitted
A-1.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-7

243. The Court would next like to discuss the evidence of PW-7 who was a
witness to the initial attack on the Raj Nagar Gurudwara on
1st November 1984 at around 7:30 am. He was living in the vicinity of the

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Gurudwara in Raj Nagar, Part-II. At 7:30 am, when alarm calls were heard,
he and 20-25 other Sikhs armed with kirpans managed to repel a mob
seeking to cause damage to the Gurudwara. However, the police came there
and took away the kirpans of the Sikhs. When the mob again came, they
managed to cause extensive damage to the Gurudwara besides setting fire
to a truck, looting the house of one Jasbir Singh, and committing the
murder of Nirmal Singh while taking him away on the pretext of involving
him in negotiations for peace.

244. PW-7 also took active part in the funeral of the dead bodies of the
Sikhs with the initiative of Wing Commander L. S. Pannu. Among the dead
bodies, he could identify those of Kirpal Singh, Ajit Singh and his son, and
one Avtar Singh.

245. He also spoke of the complicity of the police. On 2nd November 1984,
hiding in the house of his father-in-law, he could see from the window how
a police van would come and stop and upon seeing them, Sikhs would
come out hoping to be protected. The police would then leave without
offering any help or protection and soon thereafter, a mob would come
there and burn those very houses.

246. PW-7 is an important witness as regards the culpability of A-2, A-3,
A-4, and A-6 who have been identified by him as members of the rioting
mob. He could speak of how cremations were taking place at the very place
where the bodies were lying there and this was done with furniture, clothes
etc. He was asked in the context of the killing of Avtar Singh as under:

“Q. Why did you leave a helpless lady who had lost her
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husband and son in the riots and house was burnt whereas you
claim that you had particularly gone along with Wg. Cdr.Pannu
to help the remaining riot victims?

A. Our attention was only to cremate the killed persons and
therefore, we did not pay any attention to bring the wife of
Avtar Singh and therefore we did not pay attention to living
persons in the colony to shift to gurudwara as there were too
many persons.

We thought it first to cremate the killed persons. Last rites
were performed at the places where the dead bodies were lying
in the colony. Whatever material was found lying in the houses
with the help of those furniture/ clothes, cremation was done.”

247. PW-7 too, in his cross-examination, when asked why he did not prefer
to lodge a report to ensure that the culprits were booked as per law, stated
“we were very much scared of the police and therefore, I did not go to the
police station to lodge report”.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-12

248. PW-12 was a resident of Raj Nagar, Part-II. His father was plying a
taxi. It is significant to note that at the time of riots he was a keshdhari and,
by the time of his deposition on 14th February 2011, he was not. He spoke
of the attack on the Gurudwara and about the Sikhs initially resisting it and
later the mob returning and demolishing it. He spoke also of the slogan
shouting in the morning of 2nd November 1984 by a mob which announced
that if any Hindu had given shelter to any Sikh, then he should also be
finished off. His statement was never recorded by the police but only by the
CBI. He did not see A-1 and, therefore, did not speak of him while he
admitted that he did not know PW-10. PW-12 stated that he knew her

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mother Sampuran Kaur. He comes across as a natural witness who again
had no reason to speak falsely. On the aspect of the attack on the Raj Nagar
Gurudwara, he corroborates PW-7.

249. The presence of PW-7 is affirmed by A-2 himself in his statement
under Section 313 Cr PC where he stated as under:

“157.Q. It is further in evidence against you that at about 9 am,
Joginder Singh went to Mota Singh School Camp, at
Janakpuri, in a Military truck and on the way back he took his
father, brother and two more Sikhs who were hiding in
Mahavir Enclave with him in that camp and stayed there on
03.11.1984. What have you to say?

Ans. It is correct.

158.Q. It is further evidence against you that in the morning of
04.11.1984, Joginder Singh went to the Air Force Gurdwara
Camp, where he met his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law
besides many other Sikhs of Palam Colony, he also met Wing
Commander Mr. L.S. Pannu and stayed there for about 10
days. What have you to say?

Ans. It is correct.

159.Q. It is further in evidence against you that on 05.11.1984,
you Balwan Khokhar came to Air Force Gurdwara with milk
and biscuits and inquired about Nirpreet Kaur and her family
members. What have you to say?

Ans. Six families of Sikhs had taken shelter in my house.
Thereafter, I arrange for shifting them to Gurdwara, in order to
provide milk and biscuits, I had gone to Gurdwara where I met
them as well as Wing Cdr. Pannu.”

250. The criticism of PW-7 that he kept quiet for a long time and did not

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come forward requires to be rejected for the reasons already discussed
hereinbefore. The Delhi Police did not inspire the confidence of the victims
to come forward and it is understandable that they waited till the CBI took
over to speak. PW-7 explained these circumstances when he stated that
“during the riots we had lost everything and had even no food to eat. After
this incident we had gone to Amritsar, therefore, my main priority was to
earn my livelihood and not to pay attention to other things.”

251. Even when he subsequently gave an affidavit (Ex.PW-7/A), students
of Khalsa College, Amritsar had helped. He also pointed out how there was
a language problem between him and PW-15 as he was not conversant in
the Hindi language. But he had no occasion to go through that affidavit and
there was a huge rush and he was made to sign it quickly.

252. PW-7 will again be discussed when dealing with the individual
appeals of A-2 to A-6. Nevertheless, he is indeed an important witness for
the prosecution and has corroborated the other witnesses on the material
aspect of there being rioting mobs targeting Sikh households and the
Gurudwara in the locality. The Court concurs with the analysis of the
evidence of PW-7 by the trial Court holding it to be acceptable as far as the
attack on the Gurudwara is concerned and the role of A-2, A-3, A-4, and A-
6 being members of that mob. Indeed, PW-7 is a truthful and reliable
witness.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-10

253. PW-10 is another important witness for the prosecution. She was a
witness to the happenings at the Raj Nagar Gurudwara which have been
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spoken to by PWs 7 and 12. She was also a witness to the speech of A-1 on
the morning of 1st November 1984 and, to that extent, corroborates PW-1.
What has emerged in her cross-examination is that she, at one stage, had
joined the Sikh Students Federation. However, she denied having been
involved in any terrorist activities. She truthfully gave details of the three
cases in which she was implicated. In two of them, she was discharged and
in the third, she was acquitted.

254. The defence had put forth DW-4 who claimed to have recorded her
previous statement (Ex.DW-4/A). He is supposed to have recorded that
statement at Gurudwara, Moti Bagh. He admitted in his cross-examination
that there was nothing in the statement which showed the place where it
was recorded. He has also not denied that there was no entry in the case
diary about the recording of such statement. According to him, many ladies
were present but none of them specifically identified PW-10. In the said
statement (Ex.DW-4/A), the address given was that of Raj Nagar. PW-10
states that she was not examined by the Delhi Police earlier and to this
Court, that appears to be more credible than the unreliable testimony of
DW-4.

255. PW-10 was first examined on 6th January 2011 by way of
examination-in-chief. She was an eye witness to the murder of her father
Nirmal Singh and the attack on the Gurudwara. The attack was by a mob
which was led by A-2 and A-3. She also named A-6 as being part of that
mob. She spoke about Nirmal Singh being taken away by A-2 and A-3 on a
scooter on the pretext of involving him in the talks for compromise. She

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saw one Inspector Kaushik giving a match box to A-6 who set her father on
fire while the mob had caught hold of him and after Chand Sharabi doused
him with kerosene oil. She also spoke about A-4 tying up her father with
ropes to a telephone pole after he escaped and jumped into a nala. She
stated that the wife of one Dua was contributing kerosene oil and her father
was again set on fire. When her father again jumped into the nala, the
pujari of the nearby temple called the mob again. This time, A-2 hit her
father with a rod and A-3 sprinkled some white powder as a result of which
he was burnt. Someone from the mob shouted that his entire family should
be killed. PW-10 then rushed towards their house and found her mother
lying unconscious and her house burning.

256. The next morning, she got introduced to the Wing Commander L. S.
Pannu who had told her that he could provide her with a vehicle and
jawans. When she went alone in the vehicle with jawans to Palam Colony,
on reaching Manglapuri, she noticed A-1 standing and addressing the mob
saying “Ek bhi sardar jinda bachna nahi chahiye” and further “Jo bhi
sardaro ko bacha raha hai usse bhi jala do. In Sardaro ko maro inhone hi
hamari ma ko mara hai. Ye saap ke bacchhe hai”.

257. She is categorical that neither her statement nor the statement of her
mother (Sampuran Kaur) was ever recorded by the police. According to
her, neither she nor her mother received summons from the Court either in
1985 or thereafter.

258. In fact, the judgment of acquittal in SC No.32/1986 indicates how the
trial Court itself noticed how summonses to eye-witnesses were not being
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served and the Court criticised the conduct of the process serving agency.
Summons were first issued on 14th April 1986 and when eye-witnesses,
which included PW-10, her mother Sampuran Kaur, and one Constable
Paramjeet Singh, did not appear, the case was adjourned to 20th April 1986
when again they were not served. The Court gave a last opportunity to the
prosecution on 16th May 1986. Again, they were not served and the report
said that they were untraceable. It was in these circumstances that the trial
Court concluded the proceedings even though it was apparent that the eye-
witnesses were being kept away.

259. This was another family where the mother (Sampuran Kaur), out of
fear, took away PW-10 and her brothers to her village in Gurdaspur District
in Punjab at the end of November 1984. When they returned in
January 1985 to Delhi, they started living in rented accommodation and
kept changing houses because “some suspicious elements used to roam near
houses and therefore being scared we used to change accommodation”. In
1986, they were allotted accommodation with other riot victims at Tilak
Vihar.

260. In 1984, PW-10 was 16 years old. After she joined the Sikh Students
Federation, she states that they were implicated in three false TADA cases
and she remained in jail for many years. She was discharged in two and
acquitted in the other.

261. Her statement was first recorded before the learned MM in
January 2009 (Ex.PW-10/A). She could correctly identify A-1, A-2, A-3,
A-4, and A-6 in the trial. Her cross-examination commenced on
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10th January 2011 and continued on 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 27th,
31st January 2011 and 1st and 2nd February 2011. Therefore, even PW-10
was grilled day after day by each of the counsel for the accused. If one
carefully peruses the confrontations made, it cannot be said to be so serious
as to discredit her testimony in its entirety. Relevant excerpts are
reproduced as below:

“I had stated in my statement before CBI that on 31.10.1984 I
came to know that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been
assassinated by her security guard except some stray incidents
everything was normal. Confronted with statement Ex.
PW10/DA where it is not so recorded but it is recorded on
31.10.1984 Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister was
assassinated. On that day no untoward incident took place in
our area.

….

I had stated before the CBI that on that day my father had come
early to the house. Confronted with statement Ex.PW10/DA
where it is not recorded. I had stated in my statement to the
CBI that in the evening at about 6.30pm, Balwan Khokar who
used to introduce himself as nephew of Sajjan Kumar
alongwith his brother Krishan Khokar came to our house and
asked my father to keep his brother Krishan Khokar as driver.
My father told him that at present there is no vacancy and in
case there will be any vacancy, he will inform him within 3-4
days. Confronted with Ex.PW10/DA where it is not so
recorded. However it is recorded “in the evening at about 6.30
pm Balwan Khokar ( nephew of Sajjan Kumar ) came to our
house for discussing employment for his nephew as driver”.
….

I had stated in my statement before the CBI that my father
asked Balwan Khokar that Sikhs are being attacked thereupon
Balwan Khokar told him that Sajjan Kumar is his maternal
uncle and he has assured him that there shall be no attacks in
our colony. Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it
is not so recorded. I had stated in my statement that on the

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intervening night of 31.10.1984 and 01.11.1984 at about 2.30-
3am, Granthi of our gurudwara came to our house and
informed my father that police personnels have come in the
gurudwara because my father was President of gurudwara. My
father and my mother accompanied him to gurudwara.
Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is not so
recorded. However, it is recorded “on the intervening night of
31.10-1.11.1984 at about 4 am, on 01.11.1984 the granthi of
gurudwara came to our home asking for tea and also told my
father that there was a police man in the gurudwara. After that
my parents went to the gurudwara for the morning prayer.
Morning prayer start at 2:30am as gurudwara sahib opens at
that time.

….

I had stated in my statement before CBI that we heard noise
and of slogans at about 7.30/8 am, we rushed and saw that a
huge mob was coming which was being led by Balwan
Khokar, Mahender Yadav and owner of Mamta Bakery, they
were with sariyas, rods, subals, jellies and etc. Time I have
given by approximation. Confronted with statement Ex.
PW10/DA, where it is not so recorded but it is recorded “at
about 8.30am, a mob led by Balwan Khokar, Mahender Yadav
and owner of Mamta Bakery (whose name I do not remember
attacked gurudwara”.

….

I had stated before CBI that Balwan Khokar, Mahender Yadav
and Kishan Khokar came where all the Sikhs had gathered and
they offered to pay compensation for the loss/damages.
Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is not so
recorded. However it is recorded “seeing that mob could not
defeat Sikhs, Balwan Khokar, Kishan Lal, Mahender Yadav,
owner of Mamta bakery came near our house saying why we
brothers should fight amongst each other and lets compromise
and settle the issue.

….

I had stated before the CBI that my father went with Balwan
Khokar and Mahender Yadav on scooter. Confronted with
statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is not so recorded. However

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it is recorded that my father then sat on the motorcycle behind
Balwan Khokar. Probably I had stated in my statement before
the CBI that Mohan Singh one of the Sikh, who had gathered
over there uttered that now my father would not come back. On
hearing this, I. rushed in the same direction where my father
had gone I saw that the scooter stopped near the shop of
Dhanraj. Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is
not so recorded. However it is recorded that “meantime sensing
trouble for my father I ran towards the shop of Dhanraj”. I had
stated in my statement that mob caught hold of my father,
Ishwar Sharabi sprinkled kerosene oil over my father.
Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is not so
recorded. However it is recorded that “Ishwar Sharabi gave
kerosene oil to the mob”. I had stated in my statement before
CBI that from his name plate I could gather that his name was
Inspector Kaushik. Inspector Kaushik gave match box which
was taken by Kishan Khokar and Kishan Khokar set on fire my
father. Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is
not so recorded. However it is recorded that then it was
Kaushik who gave them match box and the mob poured
kerosene on my father and set him on fire. I had stated in my
statement that mob had gone a little ahead my father jumped in
a nearby nala when the mob saw that my father is alive they
returned back. Confronted with statement Ex. PW10/DA where
is not so recorded. However it is recorded that “after that the
mob left. My father who had sustained burn on chest managed
to jump in a nearby nala however the mob returned and saw
him alive”.

….

I had stated in my statement before CBI that Captain Bhagmal
tied my father with rope on the telephone pole. Confronted
with statement Ex. PW10/DA where it is not so recorded.
However factum of tying her father with telephone pole is
mentioned but name of Captain Bhagmal is not there. I had
stated in my statement that wife of Dua gave kerosene oil and
my father was again set on fire. Confronted with statement Ex.
PW10/DA where it is not so recorded. I had stated in my
statement that Balwan Khokar hit my father with rod,

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Mahender Yadav sprinkled some white powder on my father as
a result of which he was burnt. Confronted with statement Ex
PW10/DA where it is not so recorded. However it is recorded
that “this time the mob hit my father with iron rod and poured
kerosene and some white powder and set him on fire.”

262. It is not possible for this Court, therefore, to agree with the criticism of
the counsel for the accused that PW-10 is an untruthful and unreliable
witness. The trial Court too considered PW-10 to be a truthful witness who
provided support and corroboration to PW-7 as far as the attack on the
Gurudwara and the killing of her father Nirmal Singh is concerned.
However, strangely, the trial Court has disbelieved her when it came to
acquitting A-1. How the same witness who is truthful as far as the
involvement of A-2, A-3 and A-6 are concerned can suddenly turn
untruthful when it comes to the involvement of A-1, is not understood. It is
here that the trial Court has faltered in its analysis of her testimony.

Analysis of the evidence of PW-9

263. At this stage, reference may also be made to the deposition of Jasbir
Kaur (PW-9) who lost her husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law in a
ghastly attack at their residence on the morning of 2nd November 1984. Her
house was damaged entirely. Since she was hiding in the neighbouring
house with the children, she could not see the attackers herself. She too had
made a complaint (Ex.PW-9/A) but was never examined by the police. She
broadly corroborates the testimony of the other PWs discussed
hereinbefore.

264. These prosecution witnesses were themselves were sufficient to prove

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the guilt of the accused.

Analysis of the defence witnesses

265. At this stage, the Court would also like to discuss the evidence of the
defence witnesses.

266. DW-1 was posted as Garrison Engineer (East) in Delhi Cantonment.
Om Prakash (not examined) came to his residence at around 7 am on
2nd November 1984 and asked for help for the family of Kehar Singh, the
friend of Om Prakash whom DW-1 knew from before. DW-1 then
accompanied Om Prakash to Raj Nagar with a unit truck. Om Prakash
fetched PW-1 and her four children – three daughters and a son. PW-1
requested DW-1 that they should be evacuated to a safer place. She also
asked that her bhabhi and their children also be rescued. Om Prakash then
went and brought two ladies and two children with them. DW-1 then
brought all of them to the Parade Camp at the Parade Ground, Delhi
Cantonment.

267. According to DW-1, he brought them there at 8 am and they all stayed
there till 11:30 am. This is where he departed from the case of the
prosecution and helped the accused. In his cross-examination, he stated that
he did not inform anyone that he had rescued PW-1 and others. He claimed
not to know PW-3. He states that he did not notice that the house adjoining
Ram Avtar was in a burnt condition. He denied the suggestion that he had
gone to rescue the brothers of PW-6, on the asking of PW-6.

268. DW-1 denied the suggestion that Malhi Co., in which PW-6 was a

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partner, were working for him. At the same time, he admitted having
written a letter dated 11th April 1995 (Ex.DW-1/P-1), which falsified this
claim. This was a letter by him to Daljeet Kaur, the widow of Raghuvinder
Singh. He then tamely suggested that “Raghuvinder Singh might have
obtained the contract and this letter may have been written pursuant
thereto”. However, with Raghuvinder Singh having been killed on
2nd November 1984, the question of his obtaining a contract at a date
thereafter simply did not arise. The sudden appearance of DW-1 after 27
years, not mentioning these facts to anyone makes his testimony certainly
suspicious. Mr. Cheema would argue that if the evidence of DW-1 is read
carefully, it supports PW-1 on the broad particulars of her rescue along with
her children. Of course, the timing of such rescue has been wrongly spoken
to by DW-1 in order to falsify her testimony of her presence at Raj Nagar
on the morning of 2nd November 1984. To that extent, his testimony
becomes doubtful and does not inspire much confidence.

269. DW-2 point blank denied having given shelter to any Sikh family in
her house. She too was obviously won over, despite her having helped the
Sikhs in the moment of crisis. She goes to the extent of stating that she did
not even know the house where Narender Pal Singh, Raghuvinder Singh,
and PW-6 were residing with their families. This denial of knowledge about
her neighbours makes her again a wholly unreliable witness. PW-15, the
IO, mentioned how DWs 1 and 2 had given evasive replies and failed to
cooperate with the investigation.

270. DW-9 was posted at PP Palam Colony during the relevant time. His

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statement that no crowd collected outside the PP in the morning of
2nd November 1984 seems palpably false given the mayhem and
commotion in the area. He later sought to dilute his stand by suggesting that
A-1 had not come to the PP on that day in his presence. In his cross-
examination, his pathetic assertion that, in his presence, no untoward
incident took place and that he did not notice any burnt houses, dead
bodies, or ransacked houses exposes his brazen attempts in supporting the
defence. He then states that “since riots were going on, therefore, there was
a mob. I apprised the chowki in-charge about the same but no report was
lodged separately by me regarding this fact”. This actually points to the
extent of police connivance with the rioters. He brazenly asserted that
during the period of his duties from 31st October 1984 till
6th November 1984, “it never came to my notice that any Sikh person in the
locality has been killed or their house looted and ransacked”. This single
sentence is enough to expose the utter falsehood of his testimony which
deserves to be jettisoned in toto.

271. S. A. Prasad (DW-11) was examined by the defence to prove that on
the relevant dates, there was no electricity in the area. One Mukesh Sharma,
MLA had, through an RTI, obtained information (Ex.DW-11/A). However,
this witness was unable to confirm this fact. He in fact was shown the
electricity bill mentioning a Raj Nagar address (Mark-X). He, however, was
unable to produce the record.

272. Subhash Chand (DW-12) was a registration clerk. He had no
knowledge of the house stated to be occupied by PW-1.

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273. Through the evidence of PWs 15 and 17, it becomes clear that the
Delhi Police did not carry out any serious and effective investigation into
the murders of 30 persons, forming the subject matter of FIR No.416/1984.
PW-17 confirmed that as many as 23 complaints were clubbed in the said
FIR and only five murders were investigated. Five separate lists of
witnesses were filed by way of five charge sheets. Later, a supplementary
charge-sheet was also filed. Resultantly, as many as 25 murders were not
prosecuted at all.

274. Mr. Cheema pointed out how PW-9 who had lost her husband and in-
laws and had filed a complaint (Ex.PW-9/A) was responded to with silence
and no action was taken on her complaint. Likewise, one Kuldeep Singh
had named HC Satbir Singh as an accused. Again, no action was taken and
the murder was not investigated. As many as 20 murders remained un-
investigated in FIR No.416/1984. It may be recalled that even as per the
Justice Nanavati Commission, as many as 341 Sikhs were killed within the
jurisdiction of Delhi Cantonment.

275. As regards the clubbing of all these complaints into one FIR, none of
the records would show that any specific order was passed directing such
clubbing. Therefore, none of the charge sheets included the offence of
conspiracy punishable under Section 120B IPC. All six cases in which
separate charge sheets were filed ended in acquittals.

276. Mr. Cheema then touched upon the Riot Cell investigation and pointed
out that there was, in fact, no investigation at all. It was only after an

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untraced report was prepared by the Delhi Police on 14 th September 2005
that the case was entrusted to the CBI on 24 th October 2005. On
22nd November 2005, the Riot Cell filed a cancellation report before the
MM. Therefore, before the CBI could even embark on a meaningful
investigation, the Riot Cell tried to bury the case.

277. Turning to Ex.DW-15/C, which is a report recapitulating the earlier
reports, it recorded the complicity of A-1. However, when DW-15 appeared
before the Committee on 27th December 1991, he denied all other
allegations except naming A-2, Mangat Ram, Raju, and Hukum Chand.
One Raj Kumar, who had mentioned the name of A-1 in an affidavit
regarding the meeting in Manglapuri, resiled from his statement while
appearing before the Committee on 30th December 1991. This also showed
the power and influence of A-1.

278. Then we have the police officers of the Riot Cell who were also
examined. To begin with, DW-4 was produced to prove the statement
supposedly made earlier by PW-10 (Ex.PW-4/A). From the side of the
prosecution, they challenged the said statement. DW-4 did not even know
where PW-10 was residing on 1st March 1985, or even earlier. DW-4 was
extensively examined and cross-examined. The CBI summarises the
following aspects of DW-4’s testimony which point to the failure of the
investigation:

“(i) He did not remember whether he investigated FIR no.

416/84 for a single day. He however admitted that the
file remained with him till the final compliance.

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(ii) He did not know whose killings were the subject matter
of the instant case. He did not remember if he ever
investigated the killings of the five deceased of this case.
He refused to see the case diary.

(iii) He did not remember whether PW 15 recorded his
statement in the course of the investigation by the CBI.
He did not remember if he was ever called for enquiry at
any stage. He did not remember the number of murders
which were the subject matter of FIR 416/84, Later he
recalled that there were 3-4 killings. On further cross
examination he stated that he did not remember if there
were 23 complaints involving the killings of 30 persons.

(iv) He did not remember if a composite report u/s 173
Cr.P.C. was prepared by the SHO, to which he annexed
five lists of witnesses. He refused to see the case diary
on the point. He stated that it was possible that in 4 out
of 5 challans, he might have been cited as a witness. He
did not recall in how many cases he appeared as a
witness.

(v) He refused to say anything on the question that in three
out of the five murders, sent for prosecution, the
eyewitnesses were not even served and the cases ended
in acquittal.

(vi) He did not remember about the damage of the Gurdwara.

He did not even remember if any looted property was
recovered. He also could not remember if in the said 5
challans any post mortem was conducted or not.”

279. DW-15 never visited the Raj Nagar area nor did he record the
statement of any witness and therefore did not undertake any investigation.
Despite an affidavit being a part of the case diary, he could not state
whether Narender Pal Singh and others ever contacted him. Thus, it was

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concluded that DW-15 did not carry out any proper investigation. His
expectation was to pursue PW-1 with some ulterior motive of a damage
control exercise to nullify the contents of her affidavit.

280. There are many important witnesses that the Delhi Police failed to
examine and this included PWs 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 12. How these witnesses
could have been left out is indeed a mystery. The Delhi Police also did not
examine Daljit Kaur and Harbhajan Kaur. They were both cited by the CBI
but not examined as they were deemed to be unnecessary witnesses.

281. The Court is, therefore, satisfied that the Riot Cell did not carry out
any genuine investigation. PW-1 was justified in not joining such an
investigation.

Finding on A-1‟s involvement in criminal conspiracy

282. The Court then turns to the aspect of criminal conspiracy. Here, one of
the main submissions was that two of the articles of charge framed against
A-1 alleged that the conspiracy was entered into on 31 st October 1984
whereas the first incident took place only on 1st November 1984.

283. The evening of 31st October 1984 saw the beginnings of unrest,
commotion, and attack on Sikhs, which has been spoken to by many of the
PWs. Clearly, these actions could not have been taken without some degree
of pre-planning. People had come armed with matchsticks, kerosene oil,
and even with white powder (presumably phosphorus which was instantly
combustible). There was no question that there was detailed planning and
the witnesses have spoken about seeing some of the political leaders

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walking around with lists in order to identify the houses of Sikhs. Without
such careful planning, the scale of violence, destruction, and the loss of
lives could not have been brought about.

284. In this context, the two relevant witnesses were unable to be shaken in
their cross-examination. One was PW-12 who spoke about the raging mob
moving freely and targeting male Sikhs. The systematic attempt was to
ensure that no Sikh male member of a family is alive. Many Sikhs had to
cut their long hair in order to conceal their identification. The other witness
who spoke in graphic detail about the scale of violence at the time is PW-9,
whose husband and in-laws both were killed on 2nd November 1984. Her
statement was never recorded by the police or the Riot Cell. Even PW-9
was not able to be subjected to any effective cross-examination by the
counsel for the defence.

285. The targeting of Sikh male members was spoken to by many
witnesses. The attacks were brutal and targeted. There could be no doubt at
all that these were cold-blooded murders of members belonging to one
community. The role of the police in all this is also very unfortunate. The
DDR and its silence on these atrocities has already been discussed
hereinbefore. It has been pointed out by Mr. Cheema that when one peruses
the entries in the register, the following features emerge:

“(i) No whisper of the terrible riots could even be remotely
deciphered from the register. There are consistent entries
in the said register showing total normalcy in the area.
This feature has been duly noticed by the learned trial
court.

(ii) The reports show that police parties were regularly

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patrolling the area but no one returned to make a report
of any untoward incident disclosing the break out of
communal riots.

(iii) There was reference of some incidents and the police
visiting local Gurdwara. The police personnel have
simply avoided mentioning as to what had happened
there and who were involved.

(iv) Ironically there was a report alleging that Sikhs had
unleashed violence against each other, who have
collected in the house bearing number. 4000 (Ex.
PW16/E-5).

(v) One report on 04.11.1984 mentioned that one Ram Avtar
(PW 3) along with some others was arrested in the
apprehension of breach of peace, which is exhibited as
Ex. 16/G-24. As per the allegations he was openly
abetting the riot but was arrested under security
proceedings only. His arrest itself shall be a pointer to
the ugly face of the scheme of things.

(vi) Every day the roznamcha was closed with a specific
report that no untoward incident had been reported or
occurred.”

286. Thus, the police indeed turned a blind eye and blatantly abetted the
crimes committed by the rioting mob. The investigation by the local police
was a farce. Three out of the five trials involving allegations of murder
were never investigated. The witnesses who might have seen the murders
were not questioned. As pointed out by the trial Court, the State machinery
came to a complete standstill in those two or three days when the rioting
mobs took to the streets and indulged in acts of violence and killings, and
setting properties on fire. The mayhem, destruction, and murders that
rocked Raj Nagar ensured the exodus of the Sikh population from there.
Many of the males were either killed or were put in such fear that they were
scared to be seen in long hair and beards.

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287. The Court is satisfied that, in the present case, the conspiracy would
have preceded the attack on the Raj Nagar Gurudwara on the morning of
1st November 1984. Conspiracies are invariably hard to prove. The Justice
Nanavati Commission itself had this to say:

“The attacks were made in a systematic manner and without
much fear of the police; almost suggesting that they were
assured that they would not be harmed while committing those
acts and thereafter. ……………….. There was a common
pattern which followed by the big mobs which had played
havoc in certain areas. The shops were identified, looted and
then burnt. Thus what had initially started, as an angry outburst
became an organized carnage. ………. There is also evidence
to show that in systematic manner the Sikhs who were found to
have collected either at Gurdwara or at some place in their
localities for collectively defending themselves were either
persuaded or forced to go inside of their
houses……………….. The systematic manner in which the
Sikhs were thus killed indicate that the attacks on them were
organized. It appears that from 1-11-1984 another „cause of
exploitation of the situation‟ had joined the initial „course of
anger‟. The exploitation of the situation was by anti social
elements. The poorer sections of the society who were
deprived of enjoyment of better things in life saw an
opportunity of looting such things without the fear of being
punished for the same. The criminals got an opportunity to
show their might and increase their hold. The exploitation of
the situation was also by the local political leaders for their
political or personal gains like increasing the clout by showing
their importance, popularity and hold over the masses. Lack of
fear of the Police forces was also one of the causes for the
happening of so many incidents within 3 or 4 days. If the
police would have taken prompt and effective steps, very
probably so many lives would not have been lost and so many
properties would not have been looted, destroyed or
burnt……….”

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288. There was a two-pronged strategy adopted by the attackers. The first
was to liquidate all Sikh males and the other was to destroy their residential
houses leaving the women and children utterly destitute. The attack on the
Raj Nagar Gurudwara was clearly a part of the communal agenda of the
perpetrators.

289. The violence against Sikhs in Raj Nagar began on 31 st October 1984
with stray incidents occurring here and there. In fact, the Delhi Police itself
had a huge role to play, as is evident from the following factors pointed out
in the submissions of the CBI:

“(i) the crimes were committed in the patronizing and
encouraging presence of police personnel on duty.

(ii) as per the pre arranged conspiracy the police force
remained paralyzed by design and resultantly:
I. No reports were entered nor any cases registered.
II. No police personnel visited the scene of crime
which was in the open to provide assistance either
by way of protection or shifting the injured to the
hospital or guarding the dead bodies for later
sending them for autopsy.

III. By design, the police ensured total breakdown of
accountability because if the injured is shifted to
the hospital and is saved there is every likelihood
that he would implicate the evil doers. Similarly if
the fire brigade is called, the requisitioning of the
same would create record which would cause
problems. If the dead body is guarded and taken
into possession it shall have to be accounted for
and the autopsy would lead to trouble for the
killers. Therefore, the role carved out for the
police in the conspiracy was such as would
provide cast iron protection to the perpetrators of
the crime.

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IV. Police role in non-registration and investigation –

No cases were registered as per the elements of
the conspiracy because each case registered would
have to be taken to a logical conclusion. The
looted and the burnt house would have to be
photographed; the statements of the survivors
would have to be recorded and some karwai
would have to follow for search of the accused
and recovery of the property.”

290. The Court would like at this juncture to briefly discuss the case law in
relation to the offence of conspiracy punishable under Section 120B IPC. In
Ajay Agarwal v. Union of India (1993) 3 SCC 609, the Supreme Court
characterised the offence as an agreement between two or more persons to
do an illegal act or a legal act through illegal means. The commission of the
offence is complete as soon as there is consensus ad idem. It is immaterial
whether this is found in the ultimate object. It is necessary that conspirators
agree on the design or object of the conspiracy. In State v. Nalini (1999) 5
SCC 253, the Supreme Court summarised the key aspects of the offence of
conspiracy as under:

“583. Some of the broad principles governing the law of
conspiracy may be summarized though, as the name implies, a
summary cannot be exhaustive of the principles.

1. Under Section 120A IPC offence of criminal conspiracy
is committed when two or more persons agree to do or
cause to be done an illegal act or legal act by illegal
means. When it is legal act by illegal means overt act is
necessary. Offence of criminal conspiracy is exception
to the general law where intent alone does not constitute
crime. It is intention to commit crime and joining hands
with persons having the same intention. Not only the
intention but there has to be agreement to carry out the
object of the intention, which is an offence. The question

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for consideration in a case is did all the accused had the
intention and did they agree that the crime be committed.
It would not be enough for the offence of conspiracy
when some of the accused merely entertained a wish,
howsoever, horrendous it may be, that offence be
committed.

2. Acts subsequent to the achieving of object of conspiracy
may tend to prove that a particular accused was party to
the conspiracy. Once the object of conspiracy has been
achieved, any subsequent act, which may be unlawful,
would not make the accused a part of the conspiracy like
giving shelter to an absconder.

3. Conspiracy is hatched in private or in secrecy. It is rarely
possible to establish a conspiracy by direct evidence.
Usually, both the existence of the conspiracy and its
objects have to be inferred from the circumstances and
the conduct of the accused.

4. Conspirators may, for example, be enrolled in a chain –

A enrolling B, B enrolling C, and so on; and all will be
members of a single conspiracy if they so intend and
agree, even though each member knows only the person
who enrolled him and the person whom he enrolls. There
may be a kind of umbrella-spoke enrolment, where a
single person at the center doing the enrolling and all the
other members being unknown to each other, though
they know that there are to be other members. These are
theories and in practice it may be difficult to tell whether
the conspiracy in a particular case falls into which
category. It may, however, even overlap. But then there
has to be present mutual interest. Persons may be
members of single conspiracy even though each is
ignorant of the identity of many others who may have
diverse role to play. It is not a part of the crime of
conspiracy that all the conspirators need to agree to play
the same or an active role.

5. When two or more persons agree to commit a crime of
conspiracy, then regardless of making or considering any
plans for its commission, and despite the fact that no

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step is taken by any such person to carry out their
common purpose, a crime is committed by each and
every one who joins in the agreement. There has thus to
be two conspirators and there may be more than that. To
prove the charge of conspiracy it is not necessary that
intended crime was committed or not. If committed it
may further help prosecution to prove the charge of
conspiracy.

6. It is not necessary that all conspirators should agree to
the common purpose at the same time. They may join
with other conspirators at any time before the
consummation of the intended objective, and all are
equally responsible. What part each conspirator is to
play may not be known to everyone or the fact as to
when a conspirator joined the conspiracy and when he
left.

7. A charge of conspiracy may prejudice the accused
because it is forced them into a joint trial and the court
may consider the entire mass of evidence against every
accused. Prosecution has to produce evidence not only to
show that each of the accused has knowledge of object
of conspiracy but also of the agreement. In the charge of
conspiracy court has to guard itself against the danger of
unfairness to the accused. Introduction of evidence
against some may result in the conviction of all, which is
to be avoided. By means of evidence in conspiracy,
which is otherwise inadmissible in the trial of any other
substantive offence prosecution tries to implicate the
accused not only in the conspiracy itself but also in the
substantive crime of the alleged conspirators. There is
always difficulty in tracing the precise contribution of
each member of the conspiracy but then there has to be
cogent and convincing evidence against each one of the
accused charged with the offence of conspiracy. As
observed by Judge Learned Hand that “this distinction is
important today when many prosecutors seek to sweep
within the dragnet of conspiracy all those who have been
associated in any degree whatever with the main

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offenders”.

8. As stated above it is the unlawful agreement and not its
accomplishment, which is the gist or essence of the
crime of conspiracy. Offence of criminal conspiracy is
complete even though there is no agreement as to the
means by which the purpose is to be accomplished. It is
the unlawful agreement, which is the gravamen of the
crime of conspiracy. The unlawful agreement which
amounts to a conspiracy need not be formal or express,
but may be inherent in and inferred from the
circumstances, especially declarations, acts, and conduct
of the conspirators. The agreement need not be entered
into by all the parties to it at the same time, but may be
reached by successive actions evidencing their joining of
the conspiracy.

9. It has been said that a criminal conspiracy is a
partnership in crime, and that there is in each conspiracy
a joint or mutual agency for the prosecution of a
common plan. Thus, if two or more persons enter into a
conspiracy, any act done by any of them pursuant to the
agreement is in contemplation of law, the act of each of
them and they are jointly responsible therefor. This
means that everything said, written or done by any of the
conspirators in execution or furtherance of the common
purpose is deemed to have been said, done, or written by
each of them. And this joint responsibility extends not
only to what is done by any of the conspirators pursuant
to the original agreement but also to collateral acts
incident to and growing out of the original purpose. A
conspirator is not responsible, however, for acts done by
a co-conspirator after termination of the conspiracy. The
joinder of a conspiracy by a new member does not create
a new conspiracy nor does it change the status of the
other conspirators, and the mere fact that conspirators
individually or in groups perform different tasks to a
common end does not split up a conspiracy into several
different conspiracies.

10. A man may join a conspiracy by word or by deed.

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However, criminal responsibility for a conspiracy
requires more than a merely passive attitude towards an
existing conspiracy. One who commits an overt act with
knowledge of the conspiracy is guilty. And one who
tacitly consents to the object of a conspiracy and goes
along with other conspirators, actually standing by while
the others put the conspiracy into effect, is guilty though
he intends to take no active part in the crime.”

291. In Esher Singh v. State of Andhra Pradesh (2004) 11 SCC 585, the
Supreme Court observed:

“An agreement between two or more persons to do an
illegal/legal act through illegal means is criminal conspiracy.
The offence is complete as soon as there is consensus ad idem.
It is immaterial whether this is found in the ultimate object.
They should agree for design or object of conspiracy.
Conspiracy to commit a crime itself is punishable as a
substantive offence and every individual offence committed
pursuant to the conspiracy is separate and distinct offence to
which individual offenders are liable to punishment,
independent of the conspiracy.”

292. The following observations of the Supreme Court in Firozuddin
Basheeruddin v. State of Kerala (2001) 7 SCC 596 are also relevant:

“23. Like most crimes, conspiracy requires an act (actus reus)
and an accompanying mental state (mens rea). The agreement
constitutes the act, and the intention to achieve the unlawful
objective of that agreement constitutes the required mental
state. In the face of modern organised crime, complex business
arrangements in restraint of trade, and subversive political
activity, conspiracy law has witnessed expansion in many
forms. Conspiracy criminalizes an agreement to commit a
crime. All conspirators are liable for crimes committed in
furtherance of the conspiracy by any member of the group,
regardless of whether liability would be established by the law
of complicity. To put it differently, the law punishes conduct

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that threatens to produce the harm, as well as conduct that has
actually produced it. Contrary to the usual rule that an attempt
to commit a crime merges with the completed offense,
conspirators may be tried and punished for both the conspiracy
and the completed crime. The rationale of conspiracy is that the
required objective manifestation of disposition to criminality is
provided by the act of agreement. Conspiracy is a clandestine
activity. Persons generally do not form illegal covenants
openly. In the interests of security, a person may carry out his
part of a conspiracy without even being informed of the
identity of his co-conspirators. Since an agreement of this kind
can rarely be shown by direct proof, it must be inferred from
circumstantial evidence of co-operation between the accused.
What people do is, of course, evidence of what lies in their
minds. To convict a person of conspiracy, the prosecution must
show that he agreed with others that together they would
accomplish the unlawful object of the conspiracy.

24. Another major problem which arises in connection with the
requirement of an agreement is that of determining the scope of
a conspiracy – who are the parties and what are their objectives.
The determination is critical, since it defines the potential
liability of each accused. The law has developed several
different models with which to approach the question of scope.
One such model is that of a chain, where each party performs a
role that aids succeeding parties in accomplishing the criminal
objectives of the conspiracy. No matter how diverse the goals
of a large criminal organisation, there is but one objective: to
promote the furtherance of the enterprise. So far as the mental
state is concerned, two elements required by conspiracy are the
intent to agree and the intent to promote the unlawful objective
of the conspiracy. It is the intention to promote a crime that
lends conspiracy its criminal cast.

25. Conspiracy is not only a substantive crime. It also serves as
a basis for holding one person liable for the crimes of others in
cases where application of the usual doctrines of complicity
would not render that person liable. Thus, one who enters into

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a conspiratorial relationship is liable for every reasonably
foreseeable crime committed by every other member of the
conspiracy in furtherance of its objectives, whether or not he
knew of the crimes or aided in their commission. The rationale
is that criminal acts done in furtherance of a conspiracy may be
sufficiently dependent upon the encouragement and support of
the group as a whole to warrant treating each member as a
casual agent to each act. Under this view, which of the
conspirators committed the substantive offence would be less
significant in determining the defendant’s liability than the fact
that the crime was performed as a part of a larger division of
labour to which the accused had also contributed his efforts.”

293. In considering a situation where there was no evidence of any express
agreement between the accused to do or cause to be done an illegal act, the
Supreme Court, in Mohammad Usman Mohammad Hussain Maniyar v.

State of Maharashtra (1981) 2 SCC 443, opined that “for an offence under
Section 120B, the prosecution need not necessarily prove that the
perpetrators expressly agreed to do or cause to be done the illegal act; the
agreement may be proved by necessary implication”. In Noor Mohammad
Mohd. Yusuf Momin v. State of Maharashtra (1970) 1 SCC 696, the
Supreme Court observed:

“A conspiracy from its very nature is generally hatched in
secret. It is, therefore, extremely rare that direct evidence in
proof of conspiracy can be forthcoming from wholly
disinterested quarters or from utter strangers. But, like other
offences, criminal conspiracy can be proved by circumstantial
evidence. Indeed, in most cases proof of conspiracy is largely
inferential though the inference must be founded on solid facts.
Surrounding circumstances and antecedent and subsequent
conduct, among other factors, constitute relevant material. In
fact, because of the difficulties in having direct evidence of
criminal conspiracy, once reasonable ground is shown for
believing that two or more persons have conspired to commit
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 154 of 203
an offence then anything done by any one of them in reference
to their common intention after the same is entertained
becomes, according to the law of evidence, relevant for
proving both conspiracy and the offences committed pursuant
thereto.”

294. In light of the legal position that emerges from these decisions, the
trial Court failed to properly address the charge of conspiracy and this was
despite the fact that detailed arguments were submitted by the CBI in that
regard. There is also a failure to return findings on the offences punishable
under Sections 436 IPC (mischief by fire qua a place of worship), 153A
IPC (promoting enmity), and 295 IPC (defiling a place of worship). Indeed,
the above heads of charges stand proved against the accused
comprehensively from the evidence that has come on record. In other
words, the larger dimensions of the crimes appear to have been overlooked.
At this juncture this Court would like to observe that the evidence brought
on record does not support the case of the CBI against any of the present
accused for the other offences they have been charged with viz., under
Sections 395, 427 and 449 IPC. Also, with no sanction having been
obtained for prosecution under Section 505 IPC none of the accused can be
convicted for that offence either.

295. The charge of conspiracy was not only framed against A-1, but against
each of the accused. Mr Cheema argued that “the nature, intensity and scale
of the crime and the planned inaction on the part of the law enforcement
agencies coupled with total non-intervention of the Executive, are essential
pointers to the presence of the Big Brother”. It is, therefore, in this context
that the Court proceeds to examine the evidence against A-1.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 155 of 203

296. We have already noticed how, in the presence of PW-6, A-1 visited
the Raj Nagar area on the night of 1st November 1984 after 10 pm, took
stock of the situation, and even reprimanded the rioters for not
accomplishing their work properly. He asked them not to spare those
Hindus who had given shelter to Sikhs that night. He was obviously
following-up on instructions which were given to the mob earlier.

297. Similar slogans were heard by PW-12 at 7 am on the morning of
2nd November 1984. It is plain that the mob kept a night long vigil around
the house of DW-2 in which the three deceased brothers were taking refuge.
The specific role of A-1 was spoken to eloquently by PWs 1, 6, and 10.
These witnesses have already been discussed in detail hereinbefore.

298. In giving A-1 the benefit of doubt, the trial Court has relied on the fact
that before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, PW-1 did not name
A-1. As was rightly pointed out by Mr. Cheema, the statement of PW-1
dated 3rd November 1984 was a vital document and its removal from the
record is a pointer to the extent of active connivance between the Delhi
Police on the one hand and the accused on the other. In any event, what is
deposed before the Court cannot be equated with a statement made before
the CoI. Ultimately, the trial has to proceed on the basis of what is stated
before the Court and the evaluation of such evidence.

299. For all of the aforementioned reasons, the Court finds that the trial
Court was not justified in acquitting A-1 for the offences with which he was
charged. With the offence of criminal conspiracy against him more than

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adequately proved, this Court has no hesitation in holding him guilty for the
offence punishable under Section 120B read with Sections 302, 436, 153A
(1) (a) and (b), and 295 IPC. In addition, the evidence led by the
prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that he was the leader of the
mob and actively abetted the commission of crimes by his repeated
exhortations to the mob to indulge in the mayhem and kill innocent Sikhs
and that he delivered fiery/provocative speeches to the mob gathered at Raj
Nagar on 1st/2nd November 1984, instigating and promoting enmity against
the Sikh community which was prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony
and disturbed public tranquillity. A-1‟s guilt for the offence punishable
under Section 109 read with the aforementioned provisions of the IPC also
stands proved. Further, his guilt for the offence punishable under
Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC stands proved beyond reasonable doubt.
With sanction not having been obtained for prosecuting A-1 under
Section 505 IPC, he cannot be convicted for that offence.

Reversal of acquittal

300. Having satisfied itself that there exists enough evidence on the basis of
which A-1‟s guilt stands proved, it becomes necessary for this Court to
consider the legal position as regards reversal of acquittals in appeal. In
Bishan Singh v. State of Punjab (1974) 3 SCC 288, the Supreme Court
explained the legal position thus:

“22. It is well settled that the High Court in appeal under
Section 417 of the Cr PC. has full power to review at large the
evidence on which the order of acquittal was founded and to
reach the conclusion that upon the evidence the order of
acquittal should be reversed. No limitation should be placed
upon that power unless it is found to be expressly stated in the
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Code, but in exercising the power conferred by the Code and
before reaching its conclusion upon fact the High Court should
give proper weight and consideration to such matters as (1) the
views of the trial judge as to the credibility of the witnesses;
(2) the presumption of innocence in favour of the accused, a
presumption certainly not weakened by the fact that he has
been acquitted at his trial; (3) the right of the accused to the
benefit of any doubt; (4) the slowness of an appellate court
in disturbing a finding of fact arrived at by a judge who had the
advantage of seeing the witnesses.”

301. In B. N. Mutto v. Dr. T. K. Nandi (1979) 1 SCC 361, the Supreme
Court observed thus:

“It stems out of the fundamental principle of our criminal
jurisprudence that the accused is entitled to the benefit of any
reasonable doubt. If two reasonably probable and evenly
balanced views of the evidence are possible, one must
necessarily concede the existence of a reasonable doubt. But,
fanciful and remote possibilities must be left out of account. To
entitle an accused person to the benefit of a doubt arising from
the possibility of a duality of views, the possible view in favour
of the accused must be as nearly reasonably probable as that
against him. If the preponderance of probability is all one way,
a bare possibility of another view will not entitle the accused to
claim the benefit of any doubt. It is, therefore, essential that
any view of the evidence in favour of the accused must be
reasonable even as any doubt, the benefit of which an accused
person may claim, must be reasonable. “A reasonable doubt”, it
has been remarked, “does not mean some light, airy,
insubstantial doubt that may flit through the minds of any of us
about almost anything at some time or other, it does not mean a
doubt begotten by sympathy out of reluctance to convict; it
means a real doubt, a doubt founded upon reasons. [Salmond J.
in his charge to the jury in R. v. Fantle reported in 1959
Criminal Law Review 584.]”

302. In Muralidhar @ Gidda v. State of Karnataka (2014) 5 SCC 730,

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after discussing the earlier decisions, the legal position was summarised as
under:

“(i) There is presumption of innocence in favour of an accused
person and such presumption is strengthened by the order of
acquittal passed in his favour by the trial court;

(ii) The accused person is entitled to the benefit of reasonable
doubt when it deals with the merit of the appeal against
acquittal;

(iii) Though, the powers of the appellate court in considering
the appeals against acquittal are as extensive as its powers in
appeals against convictions but the appellate court is generally
loath in disturbing the finding of fact recorded by the trial
court. It is so because the trial court had an advantage of seeing
the demeanour of the witnesses. If the trial court takes a
reasonable view of the facts of the case, interference by the
appellate court with the judgment of acquittal is not justified.
Unless, the conclusions reached by the trial court are palpably
wrong or based on erroneous view of the law or if such
conclusions are allowed to stand, they are likely to result in
grave injustice, the reluctance on the part of the appellate court
in interfering with such conclusions is fully justified, and

(iv) Merely because the appellate court on re-appreciation and
re-evaluation of the evidence is inclined to take a different
view, interference with the judgment of acquittal is not
justified if the view taken by the trial court is a possible view.
The evenly balanced views of the evidence must not result in
the interference by the appellate court in the judgment of the
trial court.”

303. The powers of the appellate Court have been clearly explained by the
Supreme Court in Bhagwan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2003) 3 SCC
21 as under:

“7. We do not agree with the submissions of the learned
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counsel for the appellants that under Section 378 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure the High Court could not disturb the
finding of facts of the trial court even if it found that the view
taken by the trial court was not proper. On the basis of the
pronouncements of this Court, the settled position of law
regarding the powers of the High Court in an appeal against an
order of acquittal is that the Court has full powers to review the
evidence upon which an order of acquittal is based and
generally it will not interfere with the order of acquittal
because by passing an order of acquittal the presumption of
innocence in favour of the accused is reinforced. The golden
thread which runs through the web of administration of justice
in criminal case is that if two views are possible on the
evidence adduced in the case, one pointing to the guilt of the
accused and the other to his innocence, the view which is
favourable to the accused should be adopted. Such is not a
jurisdiction limitation on the appellate court but a Judge made
guidelines for circumspection. The paramount consideration of
the court is to ensure that miscarriage of justice is avoided. A
miscarriage of justice which may arise from the acquittal of
guilty is no less than from the conviction of an innocent. In a
case where the trial court has taken a view ignoring the
admissible evidence, a duty is cast upon the High Court to re-
appreciate the evidence in acquittal appeal for the purposes of
ascertaining as to whether all or any of the accused has
committed any offence or not. Probable view taken by the trial
court which may not be disturbed in the appeal is such a view
which is based upon legal and admissible evidence.”

304. In Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma v. State (NCT of Delhi)
(2010) 6 SCC 1, the Supreme Court observed as under:

“… The appellate court has all the necessary powers to re-
evaluate the evidence let in before the trial court as well as the
conclusions reached. It has a duty to specify the compelling
and substantial reasons in case it reverses the order of acquittal
passed by the trial court. In the case on hand, the High Court
by adhering to all the ingredients and by giving cogent and

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adequate reasons reversed the order of acquittal.”

305. Further, in Khurshid Ahmed v. State of JK (2018) 7 SCC 429, the
Supreme Court held:

“33. The power of the appellate Court in an appeal against
acquittal is the same as that of an appeal against conviction.
But, in an appeal against acquittal, the Court has to bear in
mind that the presumption of innocence is in favour of the
accused and it is strengthened by the order of acquittal. At the
same time, appellate Court will not interfere with the order of
acquittal merely because two views are possible, but only when
the High Court feels that the appreciation of evidence is based
on erroneous considerations and when there is manifest
illegality in the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court. In the
present case, there was manifest irregularity in the appreciation
of evidence by the trial Court. The High Court based on sound
principles of criminal jurisprudence, has interfered with the
judgment of acquittal passed by the trial Court and convicted
the accused as the prosecution was successful in proving the
guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

306. Thus, the position in law which emerges from the decisions of the
Supreme Court cited hereinabove is that where there has been a manifest
irregularity in the appreciation of evidence by the trial Court, the appellate
Court might interfere with the judgment of acquittal by the trial Court and
instead convict the accused if it is satisfied that the prosecution has been
successful in establishing their guilt. In the present case, the trial Court was
clearly in error in selectively finding witnesses such as PWs 1, 6, 7, and 10
reliable qua the other accused but unreliable only on the aspect of the
involvement of A-1 in the violence that afflicted the area. Disbelieving key
witnesses who have remained consistent and spoken clearly about his role
is not acceptable. Thus, this Court is satisfied that the trial Court has

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appreciated the evidence in this regard on erroneous considerations and
thus, its finding of innocence qua A-1 suffers from manifest illegality.
Conviction of A-1

307. The Court accordingly reverses the impugned judgment of the trial
Court acquitting A-1 and convicts him in the following manner:

(i) For the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section
120B read with Sections 302, 436, 153A (1) (a) and (b), and 295
IPC; and

(ii) For the offence of abetting the commission of criminal offences
punishable under Section 109 read with Sections 302, 436, 153A (1)

(a) and (b), and 295 IPC.

(iii) For the offence of delivering provocative speeches instigating
violence punishable under Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC.

308. It may well be that A-1 had organized peace rallies and blood donation
camps and helped in rehabilitation of the victims of the violence. However,
this cannot take away from his involvement in the riots in the first place
which resulted in the murders of the five deceased in the present case. His
claim that he enjoys the political support of the Sikh community also does
not find much sympathy from this Court. The Court also cannot agree with
his description of the violence as being the result of a “self-evoked
provocation which resulted in an outburst of crime in Delhi and other parts
of the country” when thousands of Sikh men, women, and children have
been butchered while the law and order situation deteriorated all around
them.

309. The Court, therefore, sees no reason why he should be dealt a lenient

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sentence. Accordingly, he is sentenced as indicated hereafter.

Appeals by Mahender Yadav (A-3) and Krishan Khokar (A-6)

310. Mr. Vikram Panwar, learned counsel, has appeared on behalf of A-3
and A-6. He pointed out at the outset that in the five different charge sheets
that were filed in FIR No.416/1984 pertaining to five different incidents,
A-6 was not named as an accused for any of the offences in any of those
incidents.

311. A-3, meanwhile, was charge sheeted in two cases. In SC No.31/1986,
which was on the complaint of one Jagir Kaur for the death of Joga Singh
and in which he was acquitted by a judgment dated 29th April 1986 as well
as in SC No.32/1986, which was on the complaint of Sampuran Kaur on
account of death of Nirmal Singh and in which he was acquitted by an
order dated 17th May 1986. Incidentally, the issue concerning his acquittal
in SC No.32/1986 was taken up suo moto in a revision petition by this
Court by an order dated 29th March 2017 which had been carried by A-3 in
appeal to the Supreme Court in SLP (Crl.) No.3928/2017.

312. He pointed out that neither the Justice Nanavati Commission nor the
Government of India recommended further investigation to be carried out
against A-3 and A-6 with respect to the incident of Nirmal Singh‟s murder.
According to him, even the application moved by the CBI on
2nd December 2005 for further investigation before the Sessions Judge, Tis
Hazari Courts, Delhi was qua the incidents relating to the complaints of
Jasbir Singh and Jagdish Kaur wherein the charge sheets against A-1 and
A-2 were not filed. The participation of A-3 and A-6 in those incidents has
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not been alleged.

313. However, subsequently, on 20th December 2005, the learned District
Judge permitted the CBI to re-investigate the complaint of Jagdish Kaur in
relation to the death of five persons, i.e. her husband, her son, and her three
brothers. According to Mr. Panwar, this was done in contravention of the
provisions of law and the dictum of the Supreme Court and betrayed an
absence of application of mind on the part of the learned District Judge.

314. The CBI now implicated, apart from others, A-3 and A-6 as well.
According to Mr. Panwar, the CBI mischievously recorded the statements
of PWs 7 and 10 against them although neither had anything to do with the
investigation of the complaint of PW-1. The subject matter of the statement
of allegations had already been tried by the Court of competent jurisdiction,
with A-3 having already been acquitted. On 15th May 2010, an order on
charge was passed qua A-3 and A-6 and they were charged as under: (i)
Section 120B read with Sections 147, 148, 153A, 295, 302, 395, 427, 436,
449, 505 IPC; (ii) Section 147 IPC; (iii) Section 148 IPC; (iv) Section 302
read with Section 149 IPC; (v) Section 427 read with Section 149 IPC; (vi)
Section 436 read with Section 149 IPC; (vii) Section 449 read with
Section 149 IPC; (viii) Section 495 read with Section 149 IPC; and (ix)
Section 295 read with Section 149 IPC. It is pointed out that there was no
substantive charge under Sections 153A and 505 IPC framed against A-3
and A-6.

315. By the impugned judgment, A-3 and A-6 have been convicted under
Sections 147 and 148 IPC and sentenced to RI for two years under
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Section 147 IPC and RI for three years under Section 148 IPC and in
default of payment of the fines imposed, to undergo further RI for six
months. They have been acquitted of the remaining charges.

316. Mr. Panwar, learned counsel appearing for A-3 and A-6, submitted as
under:

(i) The present case is in relation to the alleged killing of five persons on
the complaint of PW-1 with no role of A-3 and A-6 discernible in
those incidents. The convictions of the two under Sections 147 and
148 IPC pertained to a different incident of attack on the Raj Nagar
Gurudwara which already stood tried by the Court of competent
jurisdiction. Thus, the conviction is wholly illegal.

(ii) PW-1 has not named A-3 and A-6 due to them not having been
present at any time in Raj Nagar, Part-I during the incident. The
testimonies of PWs 7 and 10 were only in relation to the incident at
Raj Nagar, Part-II where the death of Nirmal Singh had taken place
and that the two places are some distance apart. Even the site plan
depicted only Raj Nagar, Part-I and not Raj Nagar, Part-II and did
not show the presence of the two accused in Raj Nagar, Part-II. Once
the role of the two accused was not found in relation to those five
deaths, A-3 and A-6 ought to have been acquitted.

(iii) A-3 and A-6 have been convicted in the incident of
1st November 1984 of rioting and burning of the Raj Nagar
Gurudwara and the murder of Nirmal Singh. A-3 was acquitted
precisely for those very charges in SC No.32/1986 on the ground that
the case of the prosecution appeared improbable and unreliable.

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PW-10 and Sampuran Kaur were named as witnesses in that case but
were not served with notices and, therefore, not examined. Even
here, although Sampuran Kaur was initially cited as a witness, she
was subsequently dropped. No appeal was filed against the said
order.

(iv) Thereafter, suo moto, this Court issued notice to A-3 and other
accused by its judgment dated 29th March 2017 to show cause as to
why the judgment in SC No.32/1986 be not set aside a retrial or fresh
trial be directed by this Court in exercise of its revisional powers.
The challenge against this order is pending before the Supreme
Court.

(v) The rule of issue estoppel precludes evidence being led to prove the
fact in issue as regards which evidence had already been led and a
specific finding recorded by the Court of competent jurisdiction.
Therefore, the evidence of PWs 7 and 10 could not have been
admissible as the same was in relation to the same fact decided by the
Court earlier. Reliance is placed on the decision in Manipur
Administration v. Thokchom, Bira Singh AIR 1965 SC 87, Pritam
Singh v. The State of Punjab AIR 1956 SC 415, and Lalta v. State
of Uttar Pradesh AIR 1970 SC 1381.

(vi) It is further submitted that the trial of A-3 was hit by the rule of
autrefois acquit under Section 300 Cr PC. At the time of re-
registration of the FIR by the CBI, the judgment of the learned ASJ
in SC No.32/1986 was in force and, therefore, the initiation of the
case itself was illegal. The further proceedings are rendered null and
void. In other words, A-3 could not have been tried for the same
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offence nor on the same facts or for any other offence for which a
charge different from the one made against him might have been
made and for which he might have been acquitted or convicted. It is
pointed out that Ex.PW-11/A is not a consent under Section 300 (2)
Cr PC but one under Section 196 Cr PC which is a mandatory
consent for initiation of prosecution under Section 153A Cr PC.

(vii) The CBI could not have re-investigated the death of Nirmal Singh
without the requisite sanction of law. Reliance is placed on the
decision in Vinay Tyagi v. Irshad Ali (2013) 5 SCC 762 to urge that
an order directing re-investigation could have only been passed by
the High Court or the Supreme Court. Reliance is also placed on the
decision in State of Punjab v. Davinder Pal Sing Bhullar (2011) 14
SCC 770 to urge that where the initial action is not in consonance
with law, all subsequent proceedings stand vitiated.

(viii) On merits, it is submitted that the testimonies of PWs 7 and 10 were
unreliable, uncorroborated, and unbelievable. Sampuran Kaur, who
was one of the main witnesses for the prosecution, was dropped and
the reason for this has not been properly explained. There was no
evidence of conspiracy either. Reference is made to the decisions in
Nalini (supra) and Santoshanand Avdoot v. State 2014 (4) JCC
2649.

(ix) On sentence, it is submitted that the Sessions Court did not order the
two sentences to run concurrently qua the two Appellants for the
same offences under Sections 147 and 148 IPC whereas for the
remaining convicts, their sentences were directed to run concurrently.

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317. On the aspect of Section 300 Cr PC, it is submitted in reply by
Mr. Cheema that criminal conspiracy is a distinct offence and a specific
charge was framed by the trial Court. In fact, the trial Court failed to
discuss this charge in a comprehensive manner, particularly with regard to
the accused other than A-1. It also omitted to deal or dealt only
perfunctorily with the charges under Sections 153A, 505, 295, 395, 427,
436, and 449 IPC. Consequently, the acquittal vis-à-vis the murder of
Nirmal Singh did not bar the present trial against A-3 and A-6. There was
no earlier prosecution with regard to the main charge of conspiracy and that
constituted a separate and distinct offence which did not bar the subsequent
prosecution. Reliance is placed on the decision in Leo Roy Frey v.
Superintendent AIR 1958 SC 119, Jitendra Panchal v. Narcotics Control
Bureau (2009) 3 SCC 57, Sardar Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. State of
Maharashtra AIR 1965 SC 682, Monica Bedi v. State of A.P. (2011) 1
SCC 284, and Sangeetaben Mahendrabhai Patel v. State of Gujarat
(2012) 7 SCC 621.

318. It is further submitted that the onus to prove such a defence lay on the
accused. Reliance is placed on the decision in Monica Bedi (supra). It is
pointed out that the judgment of acquittal passed by the trial Court on
17th May 1986 in SC No.32/1986, the case pertaining to the murder of
Nirmal Singh, has not even been formally proved by the defence. Even if
the judgment could be treated as a part of the record, the charge sheet under
Section 173 Cr PC, the FIR lodged by Sampuran Kaur, the statements of
witnesses, and documents collected as part of evidence of the case were not
brought on record. Only the statement made by PW-10 to the police was

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sought to be brought on record by examining DW-4, a retired ACP, who
proved Ex.DW-4/A.

319. Notwithstanding that the authenticity of such statement having been
recorded is itself doubtful, a perusal of the said statement showed that
PW-10 was not a witness to the damage to the Raj Nagar Gurudwara and
did not incorporate the allegations constituting an offence under Section
153A IPC. Therefore, there is nothing to show that in the previous trial, the
Sessions Judge could have framed charges under Sections 153A, 295, or
120B IPC.

320. Mr. Cheema referred to Section 300 (2) Cr PC which creates an
exception for a second trial in a case where any distinct offence exists for
which a separate charge might have been made against the accused and
provides that the accused can be prosecuted for the said offence
subsequently with the consent of the State Government. In the present case,
there was an order (Ex.PW-11/A) whereby the State Government had given
sanction for prosecution of the accused under Section 153A IPC.

321. Section 300 Cr PC reads as under:

“300. Person once convicted or acquitted not to be tried for
same offence.- (1) A person who has once been tried by a Court
of competent jurisdiction for an offence and convicted or
acquitted of such offence shall, while such conviction or
acquittal remains in force, not be liable to be tried again for the
same offence, nor on the same facts for any other offence for
which a different charge from the one made against him might
have been made under sub- section (1) of section 221, or for
which he might have been convicted under sub- section (2)
thereof.

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(2) A person acquitted or convicted of any offence may be
afterwards tried, with the consent of the State Government, for
any distinct offence for which a separate charge might have been
made against him at the former trial under sub- section (1) of
section 220.

(3) A person convicted of any offence constituted by any act
causing consequences which, together with such act, constituted
a different offence from that of which he was convicted, may be
afterwards tried for such last- mentioned offence, if the
consequences had not happened, or were not known to the Court
to have happened, at the time when he was convicted.

(4) A person acquitted or convicted of any offence constituted
by any acts may, notwithstanding such acquittal or conviction,
be subsequently charged with, and tried for, any other offence
constituted by the same acts which he may have committed if
the Court by which he was first tried was not competent to try
the offence with which he is subsequently charged.

(5) A person discharged under section 258 shall not be tried
again for the same offence except with the consent of the Court
by which he was discharged or of any other Court to which the
first- mentioned Court is subordinate.

(6) Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of section
26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, (10 of 1897) or of section
188 of this Code.

Explanation.- The dismissal of a complaint, or the discharge of
the accused, is not an acquittal for the purposes of this section.”

322. As explained by the Supreme Court in Leo Roy Frey (supra), criminal
conspiracy is a separate offence for which the previous trial would not
come in the way since that was not the subject matter of trial. The facts in
that case were that the previous trial proceeded against the accused under
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the Sea Customs Act, whereas they were sought to be tried for the offence
under Section 120B IPC. The Supreme Court pointed out that “criminal
conspiracy is an offence created and punishable by the Indian Penal Code.
It is not an offence under the Sea Customs Act”. It further explained as
under:

“The offence of a conspiracy to commit a crime is a different
offence from the crime that is the object of the conspiracy
because the conspiracy precedes the commission of the crime
and is completed does not require the element of conspiracy as
one of its ingredients. They are, therefore, quite separate
offences. This is also the view expressed by the United States
Supreme Court in United States v. Rabinowich. The offence of
criminal conspiracy was not the subject-matter of the
proceedings before the Collector of Customs and therefore it
cannot be said that the petitioners have already been prosecuted
and punished for the “same offence”. It is true that the
Collector of Customs has used the words “punishment” and
“conspiracy”, but those words were used in order to bring out
that each of the two petitioners was guilty of the offence under
Section 167(8) of the Sea Customs Act. The petitioners were
not and could never be charged with criminal conspiracy
before the Collector of Customs and therefore Article 20(2)
cannot be invoked.”

323. In Jitendra Panchal (supra), the above legal position was reiterated.
Likewise, in Sardar Sardul Singh Caveeshar (supra), reference was made
to the earlier decisions in State of Bombay v. S. L. Apte [1961] 3 SCR 107
where it was observed as under:

“To operate as a bar the second prosecution and the
consequential punishment thereunder, must be for ‘the same
offence’. The crucial requirement, therefore, for attracting the
Article is that the offences are the same i.e., they should be
identical. If, however, the two offences are distinct, then
notwithstanding that the allegations of fact in the two
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 171 of 203
complaints might be substantially similar, the benefit of the
ban cannot be invoked. It is, therefore, necessary to analyse
and compare not the allegations in the two complaints but the
ingredients of the two offences and see whether their identity is
made out.”

324. In Monica Bedi (supra), the law was exhaustively discussed and it
was observed as under:

“It is thus clear that the same facts may give rise to different
prosecutions and punishments and in such an event the
protection afforded by Article 20(2) is not available. It is
settled that a person can be prosecuted and punished more than
once even on substantially same facts provided the ingredients
of both the offences are totally different and they did not form
the same offence.”

325. As regards the onus of proof, it was observed as under:

“Be that as it may, there is no factual foundation laid as such
by the appellant taking this plea before the trial court. Nothing
is suggested to the Investigating Officer or to any of the
witnesses that she is sought to be prosecuted and punished for
the same offence for which she has been charged and convicted
by a competent court of jurisdiction at Lisbon. She did not
even make any such statement in her examination under
Section 313 Cr.P.C. It is true that the fundamental right
guaranteed under Article 20(2) of the Constitution is in the
nature of an injunction against the State prohibiting it to
prosecute and punish any person for the same offence more
than once but the initial burden is upon the accused to take the
necessary plea and establish the same.”

326. In Sangeetaben Mahindrabhai Patel (supra), the legal position was
summarized thus:

“In view of the above, the law is well settled that in order to
attract the provisions of Article 20(2) of the Constitution i.e.
doctrine of autrefois acquit or Section 300 Cr PC or Section 71
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IPC or Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, the ingredients
of the offences in the earlier case as well as in the latter case
must be the same and not different. The test to ascertain
whether the two offences are the same is not the identity of the
allegations but the identity of ingredients of the offence.
Motive for committing the offence cannot be termed as the
ingredients of offences to determine the issue. The plea of
autrefois acquit is not proved unless it is shown that the
judgment of acquittal in the previous charge necessarily
involves an acquittal of the latter charge.”

327. The Court agrees with Mr. Cheema that the Government of India had
permitted the prosecution under Section 153A by its order marked herein as
Ex.PW-11/A with there being a distinct offence made out in respect of
which no charge was framed earlier. Following the recommendations of the
Justice Nanavati Commission, there was an express letter of the
Government dated 24th October 2005 authorizing the CBI to investigate the
offences and, therefore, there is no illegality attached to that either.

328. The evidence of DW-4 has already been discussed. His testimony is
indeed unconvincing. Although he tried to prove Ex.DW-4/A, it is highly
doubtful that he ever recorded the statement of PW-10. That statement
nevertheless makes no mention of the damage to the Raj Nagar Gurudwara
and therefore, on that statement, no charge for the offence under
Section 153A IPC could have been framed, much less under Sections 295
and 120B IPC.

329. It is another matter that the trial Court in the present case did not
examine those charges although the evidence was amply led and proved in
that regard. Therefore, sending up A-3 and A-6 for trial for the offences

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under Sections 153A and 120B IPC and other offences was not in
contravention of Section 300 (2) Cr PC. The Court, therefore, is not
persuaded that there is an operation of issue estoppel as pleaded by A-3 or
that the bar under Section 300 Cr PC stands attracted.

330. On the question of conspiracy, this Court has already discussed the
evidence threadbare and finds that, in the present case, both PWs 7 and 10
have spoken clearly and consistently about the role of A-3 and A-6 in the
attack on the Raj Nagar Gurudwara. That each of them acted in concert, and
pursuant to planning in great detail, specifically targetting the Sikhs has
been established convincingly by the prosecution. The evidence in this
regard has been discussed extensively hereinbefore. The Court, therefore,
does not accept the plea of A-3 and A-6 that there is no evidence to prove
the charge of criminal conspiracy against either A-3 or A-6.

331. The evidence is thus sufficient to uphold the convictions of these
accused as recorded by the trial Court and to further convict them for the
offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with
Sections 436, 153A (1) (a) and (b), and 295 IPC. A-3 and A-6 are
accordingly sentenced as indicated hereafter.

Appeal by Captain Bhagmal (Retd) (A-4)

332. The Court now turns to the appeal of A-4. Elaborate written
submissions have been filed by learned counsel on his behalf to supplement
the oral submissions made by Mr. R. N. Sharma, learned counsel appearing
on his behalf.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 174 of 203

333. Much of the focus was on the inconsistent statements made by PW-1
at various stages and how the introduction of A-4 as an accused in this case
was a deliberate ploy by the CBI to somehow secure his conviction when,
for 26 years between 1984 and 2010, not a single witness had named him as
an accused. There were detailed submissions made in respect of the
testimonies of PWs 6 and 7 as well. According to Mr. Sharma, A-4 was not
part of the mob on 1st November 1984 and he could not be made a member
of that mob at all.

334. At the outset, it requires to be noticed that this is a case where there
was an abject failure by the Delhi Police to conduct a proper investigation
in the case and this has already been adverted to extensively hereinbefore.
The testimonies of PWs 1, 7, and 10 have also been discussed threadbare
hereinbefore. Here, it must be added that in a matter such as this involving
mass crimes, where witnesses have been living under fear for years on end,
while appreciating the testimonies of such witnesses, one cannot get into
hyper-technicalities and start dissecting their statements to the point of
incredulity. What has to be seen is that there is a consistency in their
testimonies on the broad aspects of the prosecution case. Embellishments
here and there and some marginal inconsistencies and contradictions would
not result in throwing out the entire evidence as a whole and rendering it
unbelievable.

335. The settled legal position in relation to the appreciation of ocular
evidence may be recapitulated. In State v. Saravanan AIR 2009 SC 152,
the Supreme Court held that the trial Court could overlook “minor

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 175 of 203
discrepancies on trivial matters” which do not affect “the core of the
prosecution case”. In State of U.P. v. Krishna Master AIR 2010 SC 3071
the Supreme Court reminded that “it is the duty of the Court to separate
falsehood from the truth, in sifting the evidence”.

336. In State of U.P. v. M.K. Anthony AIR 1985 SC 48, it was explained
by the Supreme Court as under:

“While appreciating the evidence of a witness, the approach
must be whether the evidence of the witness read as a whole
appears to have a ring of truth. Once that impression is formed,
it is undoubtedly necessary for the Court to scrutinise the
evidence more particularly keeping in view the deficiencies,
drawbacks and infirmities pointed out in the evidence as a
whole and evaluate them to find out whether it is against the
general tenor of the evidence given by the witness and whether
the earlier evaluation of the evidence is shaken as to render it
unworthy of belief. Minor discrepancies on trivial matters not
touching the core of the case, hypertechnical approach by
taking sentences torn out of context here or there from the
evidence, attaching importance to some technical error
committed by the investigating officer not going to the root of
the matter would not ordinarily permit rejection of the
evidence as a whole. If the Court before whom the witness
gives evidence had the opportunity to form the opinion about
the general tenor of evidence given by the witness, the
appellate court which had not this benefit will have to attach
due weight to the appreciation of evidence by the trial Court
and unless there are reasons weighty and formidable it would
not be proper to reject the evidence on the ground of minor
variations or infirmities in the matter of trivial details. Even
honest and truthful witnesses may differ in some details
unrelated to the main incident because power of observation,
retention and reproduction differ with individuals.”

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337. Again, in State of Rajasthan v. Kishore AIR 1996 SC 3035, the
Supreme Court observed:

“Be it noted that the High Court is within its jurisdiction being
the first appellate court to re-appraise the evidence, but the
discrepancies found in the ocular account of two witnesses
unless they are so vital, cannot affect the credibility of the
evidence of the witnesses. There is bound to be some
discrepancies between the narrations of different witnesses
when they speak on details, and unless the contradictions are
of a material dimension, the same should not be used to
jettison the evidence in its entirety. Incidentally, corroboration
of evidence with mathematical niceties cannot be expected in
criminal cases. Minor embellishment, there may be, but
variations by reason therefor should not render the evidence of
eye witnesses unbelievable. Trivial discrepancies ought not to
obliterate otherwise acceptable evidence.”

338. In Ugar Ahir v. State of Bihar AIR 1965 SC 277, the Supreme Court
explained the legal position as under:

“The maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one
thing, false in everything) is neither a sound rule of law nor a
rule of practice. Hardly one comes across a witness whose
evidence does not contain a grain of untruth or at any rate
exaggerations, embroideries or embellishments. It is, therefore,
the duty of the court to scrutinise the evidence carefully and, in
terms of the felicitous metaphor, separate the grain from the
chaff. But, it cannot obviously disbelieve the substratum of the
prosecution case or the material parts of the evidence and
reconstruct a story of its own out of the rest.”

339. In Rammi alias Rameshwar v. State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1999
SC 256, it was observed:

“When eye-witness is examined at length it is quite possible
for him to make some discrepancies. No true witness can
possibly escape from making some discrepant details. Perhaps

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an untrue witness who is well tutored can successfully make
his testimony totally non-discrepant. But courts should bear in
mind that it is only when discrepancies in the evidence of a
witness are so incompatible with the credibility of his version
that the Court is justified in jettisoning his evidence. But too
serious a view to be adopted on mere variations falling in the
narration of an incident (either as between the evidence of two
witnesses or as between two statements of the same witness) is
an unrealistic approach for judicial scrutiny.”

340. Keeping this in view, if one would examine the evidence of PW-1, it is
seen that she has named A-4 in her affidavit filed before the Justice
Ranganath Misra Commission and has also referred to his being part of the
rioting mob in her affidavit filed before the Justice Nanavati Commission.
In her deposition in Court, in connection with the killing of Narender Pal
Singh, she deposed thus:

“At about 7.30am. Again said I was not having a watch, it may
be 6:30-7am, when one of my brother Narender Pal, jumped
into the street adjoining my house. Soon thereafter,
Raghuvinder Singh and Kuldeep Singh followed him. When
Narender Pal jumped down, Dharamvir noticed him and
shouted that the Thekedars running away and called upon
others to come. The house of Girdhari Lal was close by. He
came running armed with lathi (dang); Baldan Singh Retd.
Subedar also rushed; Retd. Captain Bhagmal also came
alongwith mob that gathered there. My brother Narender Pal
was caused some lathi injuries and burnt close to my house. I
also saw my two other brothers Raghuvinder Singh and
Kuldeep Singh, being attacked and taken away by the mob to
some distance. I closed the door and did not see thereafter as I
was concerned about our own safety.”

341. A common counsel appeared for A-3, A-4, and A-5 in the trial Court
and the cross-examination of PW-1 by him did not bring about any serious

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contradictions as regards her naming A-4 and the acts attributed by her to
him. It is plain that the counsel strategically avoided confronting her about
any inconsistency in this regard but instead went into other minor details.
She was asked about her statement before the Justice Nanavati Commission
and stated as under:

“It is correct that I had stated in statement Ex. PWI/C that I
was only given a small writing stating that it will be useful for
the purpose of pension. Vol. I was speaking in Punjabi and I do
not know whether the Commission understood it or not. How
can I say that my statement was not recorded correctly by the
Justice Nanavati Commission of Inquiry. I had signed my
statement which was recorded before Justice Nanavati
Commission of Inquiry. Whatever questions were asked by the
Commission, I used to reply the same. I did not said anything.
Before this court I have given the statement of my own. It is
incorrect to suggest that even before the Nanavati Commission
I had given the statement of my own.”

342. In her entire cross-examination, there is no suggestion to her that she
wrongly named A-4 and incorrectly attributed culpability to him. Much has
also been made of the fact that she earlier claimed to be a witness to the
murders of all three brothers, whereas before the Court, she was speaking
only of the killing of Narender Pal Singh. She clarified as under:

“It is incorrect to suggest that I had stated in all my earlier
statements / affidavits that I had witnessed the killing of my all
three brothers. Vol. I had been telling everybody that I had
witnessed the killing of only one of my brother Narender Pal
and other two brothers were taken away and I do not know
where they were taken away and where they were killed but
they may be writing statements / affidavits in their own ways.
It is incorrect to suggest that I had not witnessed any of the
killing of my brothers or that because of this reason I am
making different stands at different times.”

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 179 of 203

343. Throughout before the two Commissions and then before the CBI and
the MM, and finally in the trial, PW-1 has been consistent about the
accused she named in the first instance. There is a difference between being
silent about an accused and being inconsistent about the named accused.
There is absolutely no inconsistency qua A-4 who has been named by
PW-1 before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, the Justice
Nanavati Commission, in her statements under Sections 161 and 164
Cr PC, and later in the Court.

344. The manner in which the counsel for A-4 has gone about analyzing the
evidence of PW-1 overlooks the essential feature of her testimony that she
throughout remained consistent on the broad aspects about the involvement
of A-4 in the killing of Narender Pal Singh. On this essential aspect of the
matter, therefore, she has stood firm and is truthful, consistent, and reliable.

345. This Court, therefore, is not impressed with the pointing out of the
inconsistencies in her statement before Justice Nanavati Commission and in
the Court.

346. There is much criticism on the position from which PW-1 allegedly
saw the incident. There is also heavy criticism of the site plan
(Ex.PW-15/A) prepared in this regard. This is a case based on direct
evidence and not circumstantial evidence. Had it been prepared
contemporaneously at the earliest point in time, the site plan might have
been an important document. In the present case, however, the site plan
(Ex.PW-15/A) was prepared by PW-15 in 2006, i.e. 22 years later. In any

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event, when the witness herself is truthful and convincing, merely because
the site plan may not have been prepared to indicate the point from where
she viewed the incident would not go to destroying her credibility. She is
speaking to the CBI in 2006, 22 years after the incident. Therefore, to even
attempt to point out from a rough site plan, not drawn to scale, the precise
place where she had been standing at the time of the incident would have
been unrealistic.

347. What PW-1 has relied on is her memory of the actual murders of the
deceased and, on that aspect, she cannot be faulted. She is not inconsistent
and nothing has been elicited in her cross-examination to even remotely
suggest that she is speaking falsehood. In any event, it has not been shown
why she would falsely implicate the accused whom she has named
repeatedly and consistently. More so, why the IO of the CBI would have
any motive to falsely implicate A-4 is not explained.

348. Learned counsel for A-4 then created doubt regarding the testimony of
PW-6 and suggested that he was a planted witness and introduced only to
somehow procure the conviction of the accused. The fact of the matter is
that many of these witnesses were living in fear and had completely lost
confidence in the Delhi Police and were therefore, unsure about coming
forward to speak the truth. They could gather confidence only after the CBI
took over the investigation.

349. In the first place, PW-6 has not named this accused, i.e. A-4, in
particular. He provides broad corroboration to the material aspect of the
testimony of PW-1 about Narender Pal Singh being murdered by a mob.

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Therefore, it cannot be said that PW-6 is a planted witness who was
introduced only to somehow secure the conviction of A-4.

350. Turning now to the testimony of PW-7, he definitely names A-2, A-3,
A-4, and A-6 as being part of the mob which came to attack the Raj Nagar
Gurudwara. He stated as under:

“On 01.11.1984 at about 7.30 am I along with my wife came
out of gurudwara and saw that a huge mob was coming from
Mehrauli road side. I could identify Balwan Khokhar, Kishan
Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Capt. Bhagmal, Raja Ram and
Gulati from amongst the mob. The mob was armed with lathis,
rods, pipes, jellies etc. The mob comprised of people from
nearby villages and colonies. Some persons of my colony were
also there. Thereafter we went to our house. After sometime
some sikhs shouted that gurudwara has been attacked and it
should be saved. About 20-25 of sikhs including me, with their
kirpans assembled together in front of the gurudwara. We saw
that mob had burnt the gurudwara, looted the house of Jasbir
Singh and burnt the truck of Harbans Singh. The mob again
came which was led by Balwan Khokar, Kishan Khokar,
Mahender Yadav. Mahender Yadav and Balwan Khokar were
on scooter while Kishan Khokar was on foot. Balwan Khokhar
and Mahender Yadav caught hold of hand of Sardar Nirmal
Singh who was standing near gurudwara. They told him that
they want to talk to him and want to make some settlement and
he should accompany them. They took him with them
thereafter we went to our house. Prior to that when we had
gone along with our sword to gurudwara in order resist police
officials came and took the swords with them the police had
come after about two hours. Again said the police had come
after two hours of our reaching to gurudwara and the mob
came after one hour. Then, I remained at my house. Thereafter,
I remained at my house on 01.11.1984. I along with my wife
had gone to the house of my father in law and it was very near
to gurudwara and stayed there on 01.11.1984. There was huge
noise outside the house “mar do mar do” and there was smoke
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outside.”

351. He was able to correctly identify A-4 in the Court. He was extensively
cross-examined by the counsel for A-3, A-4, and A-5, but on the crucial
aspect of his actually having seen A-4 as part of the mob, he was not
confronted with any inconsistent statement made by him earlier to the CBI.
In his cross-examination, the confrontations read as under:

“I had stated in my statement before the Magistrate that on
01.11.1984 at about 7.30am alongwith my wife came out of
gurudwara and saw that a huge mob was coming from
Mehrauli road side. I could identify Balwan Khokhar, Krishan
Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal, Raja Ram and
Gulati from amongst the mob. Confronted with statement
Ex.PW7/B where it is not recorded. However, it is recorded
that “I alongwith my wife Harjeet Kaur were coming towards
our house on 01.11.1984 at about 7.30am from Gurudwara and
saw that a mob was coming from opposite side armed with
sariya, lathies and jellies”. I had stated in my statement before
the Magistrate that mob comprised of the people from the
nearby villages and, colonies, some persons of my colony were
also there and thereafter we went to our house after some time
some Sikhs shouted that Gurudwara has been attacked and it
should be saved. Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/B where
it is not recorded. However, it is been recorded that he and his
wife had gone to their house after some time. I had not stated
in my statement before the Magistrate that we saw that mob
had burnt the Gurudwara. I might have forgotten to state this
fact before the Magistrate. I had stated before the Magistrate
that the mob again came which was led by Balwan Khokhar,
Krishan Khokhar and Mahender Yadav. Mahender Yadav and
Balwan Khokhar were on scooter while Krishan Khokhar was
on foot. Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/B where it is not
recorded. I had stated in my statement to the Magistrate that
the police had come after two hours of our reaching to
Gurudwara and the mob came after one hour then I remained at
my house. Thereafter, I remained at my house on 01.11.1984.

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Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/B where it is not recorded.
However, it is pointed by ld Counsel for the CBI that it is
recorded that after some time police officials came and mob
came thereafter.”

352. These confrontations have to be read in the overall context of his
entire testimony and not piecemeal as is invariably sought to be done when
witnesses are cross-examined. The further confrontations read as under:

“I had stated in my statement before the CBI that on
01.11.1984 at about 7.30am I along with “my wife” came out
of Gurudwara and saw that a huge mob was coming from
Mehrauli road side. Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/DA
where wife and Mehrauli is road side is not mentioned. I had
also stated in my statement to the CBI that after some time
some Sikhs had shouted that Gurudwara had been attacked and
it should be saved. Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/DA
where it is not recorded. I had also stated in my statement to
the CBI that the mob again came which was led by Balwan
Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav. Mahender
Yadav and Balwan Khokhar were on scooter and while
Krishan Khokhar was on foot. Confronted with statement
Ex.PW7/DA where it is not recorded. I had stated in my
statement before the CBI that Balwan Khokhar and Mahender
Yadav caught hold of hand of Sardar Nirmal Singh who was
standing near the Gurudwara they told him that they want to
talk to him and want to make certain settlement and he should
accompany him. They took him with them thereafter we went
to our house. Confronted with statement Ex. PW7/DA where it
is not recorded. It is pointed by ld. Counsel for the CBI that
factum of Balwan Khokhar and Krishan Khokhar and
Mahender Yadav catching hold of Sardar Nirmal Singh find
mention in the statement. I had stated in my statement CBI that
thereafter, I remained at my house on 01.11.1984. Confronted
with statement Ex. PW7/DA where it is not recorded.”

353. If one carefully reads the evidence of PW-7, he clearly states that A-4

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was part of the armed mob which attacked the Raj Nagar Gurudwara. When
he speaks about the mob returning and taking Nirmal Singh away, he does
not mention specifically that A-4 was part of that mob. In his earlier
statement before the learned MM, he spoke generally of an armed mob and
does not name anyone in particular. The Court does not consider this to be,
therefore, a contradiction or an inconsistency. In Court, he does name A-4
and is correctly able to identify him. He, therefore, is an important witness
in fixing A-4‟s presence in the mob that attacked the Raj Nagar Gurudwara.

354. Turning now to the evidence of PW-10, she names A-4 as being
involved in the incident of her father‟s murder. She, however, does not
specifically name him with regard to the incident of the burning of the
Gurudwara. Since the death of Nirmal Singh is not the subject matter of
these appeals, her evidence need not be discussed any further.

355. The Court is satisfied that the evidence of PW-7, who has been unable
to be shaken in cross-examination, is by itself sufficient to find A-4 guilty
of the offences under Section 120B read with Sections 436, 295, and 153A
(1) (a) and (b) IPC. As far as the murder of Narender Pal Singh is
concerned, the evidence of PW-1 is sufficient to convict him for the offence
under Section 302 read with Section 149 IPC.

356. Therefore, no interference is called for with the convictions recorded
by the trial Court qua A-4 or the sentence awarded to him therefor. This
Court also sees it fit to further convict him for the offence of criminal
conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with Sections 436, 153A
(1) (a) and (b), and 295 IPC. He is sentenced as indicated hereafter.

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Appeal by Balwan Khokar (A-2)

357. The Court now turns to the appeal filed by A-2. Here again, PW-1 was
a star witness and the criticisms of her testimony is more or less the same as
those made by the other accused. The submission is that the trial Court,
having disbelieved PW-1 qua the guilt of A-1, should disbelieve her even
qua the guilt of the other appellants, including A-2. This Court has not
found favour with this submission qua A-1 himself so there is no question
of this witness being disbelieved as regards the culpability of A-2.

358. It is then submitted that the CBI did not give any reasons for dropping
17 witnesses during the trial, some of whom have later been examined as
defence witnesses. The fact that these witnesses were examined as defence
witnesses and had tried to help the accused provides the reason why the
CBI considered it prudent not to examine them as PWs. This is entirely the
prerogative of the CBI and it actually stands against the accused that they
had made attempts – having success in some instances – to win over
witnesses.

359. The role of A-2 has been spoken of by the key witnesses, i.e. PWs 1,
6, 7, and 10. Their testimonies have been discussed extensively
hereinbefore. PW-6 cannot be said to be a planted witness. He comes across
as natural and believable witness. It is then submitted that A-2 is not a
Congress leader but a mere local worker. This does not make much
difference to the role attributed to him by the eye witnesses who come
across as truthful and believable.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 186 of 203

360. Therefore, no interference is called for with the convictions recorded
by the trial Court qua A-2 or the sentence awarded to him therefor. This
Court also sees it fit to further convict him for the offence of criminal
conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with Sections 436, 153A
(1) (a) and (b), and 295 IPC. He is sentenced in the manner indicated
hereafter.

Appeal by Girdhari Lal (A-5)

361. Lastly, the Court deals with the appeal filed by A-5 who is represented
by Mr. Aditya Vikram, learned counsel. It is first submitted that PW-1 had,
in her statement under Section 161 Cr PC, stated the time of killing of her
cousins Raghuvinder Singh, Narender Pal Singh, and Kuldeep Singh as
8.30 am (Ex.PW-1/DA) whereas in her statement under Section 164 Cr PC,
no such time of killing was mentioned. Then, in her deposition in the Court,
she gave the time of killing as between 6:30 to 7 am. In the considered view
of the Court, this is not a major contradiction that goes to discredit PW-1.

362. It is then submitted that PW-1 did not mention the names of the
assailants in the affidavit and statement given by her before Justice
Nanavati Commission. This is not true in light of what has been discussed
hereinbefore. In any event, it is her testimony in the Court that was most
critical. In her statement before the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission,
she clearly mentioned A-5 as part of the mob which killed her brothers. In
her deposition before the Court, as regards the killing of Narender Pal
Singh, she clearly stated, “The house of Giridhari Lal was close by. He
came running armed with lathi (dang)”. She also mentioned how “her
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brother Narender Pal was caused some lathi injuries”. Therefore, the
presence of A-5 in the mob that killed Narender Pal Singh is clearly spoken
by PW-1.

363. The submission that she named six persons in her affidavit before the
Justice Ranganath Misra Commission whereas she named only four in her
deposition in the Court also does not help the case of A-5, as he figures in
both these statements. It is then submitted that before the Justice Ranganath
Misra Commission, she stated how her three cousins were killed within her
sight at the same time whereas in the Court she spoke about witnessing only
the murder of Narender Pal Singh. This has already been discussed in the
context of appeal of A-5 and need not be repeated here.

364. Much of the criticism of her testimony about her not appearing before
the Riot Cell and about her statement recorded by the police on
3rd November 1984 being taken off the record have also been dealt with
earlier. It is also again submitted that her statement recorded on
20th January 1985 is to be taken as a reliable statement. This Court has
already rejected this contention earlier.

365. The Court is of the view that even one reliable witness is sufficient to
bring home the guilt of an accused. The following observations in State of
Maharashtra v. Ramlal Devappa Rathod (2015) 15 SCC 77 lucidly
summarise the position:

“15. The case of the prosecution depends upon the testimony
of PW12 Sarojini. The substantive evidence on record is only
through this witness. The law on the point is well settled that a
conviction can well be founded upon the testimony of a sole
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 188 of 203
witness. However, as laid down in State of Haryana v. Inder
Singh (2002) 9 SCC 537 the testimony of a sole witness must
be confidence inspiring and beyond suspicion, leaving no
doubt in the mind of the Court. In Joseph v. State of Kerala
2003 (2) SCC 465 it was stated that where there is a sole
witness, his evidence has to be accepted with an amount of
caution and after testing it on the touchstone of other material
on record. It was further stated in Patel Engineering Limited v.
Union of India (2012) 11 SCC 257 that the statement of the
sole eye-witness should be reliable, should not leave any doubt
in the mind of the Court and has to be corroborated by other
evidence produced by the prosecution.

…..

18. …It needs to be stated here that the High Court has also not
rejected her testimony doubting her presence but has proceeded
to put the matter in the light of the decision of this Court in
Masalti (supra).

….

21. That brings us to the question whether in an attack such as
the present one, how far the principle laid down by this Court
in Masalti (supra) is applicable?

….

24. …in a situation where assault is opened by a mob of fairly
large number of people, it may at times be difficult to ascertain
whether those who had not committed any overt act were
guided by the common object. There can be room for
entertaining a doubt whether those persons who are not
attributed of having done any specific overt act, were innocent
bystanders or were actually members of the unlawful
assembly. It is for this reason that in Masalti (supra) this Court
was cautious and cognizant that no particular part in respect of
an overt act was assigned to any of the assailants except Laxmi
Prasad. It is in this backdrop and in order to consider “whether
the assembly consisted of some persons who were merely
passive witnesses and had joined the assembly as a matter of
idle curiosity without intending to entertain the common object
of the assembly”, this Court at pages 148-149 in Masalti
(supra) observed that his participation as a member of the

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 189 of 203
unlawful assembly ought to be spoken by more than one
witness in order to lend corroboration. The test so adopted in
Masalti (supra) was only to determine liability of those
accused against whom there was no clear allegation of having
committed any overt act but what was alleged against them
was about their presence as members of the unlawful assembly.
The test so adopted was not to apply to cases where specific
allegations and overt acts constituting the offence are alleged
or ascribed to certain named assailants. If such test is to be
adopted even where there are specific allegations and overt acts
attributed to certain named assailants, it would directly run
counter to the well known maxim that “evidence has to be
weighed and not counted” as statutorily recognized in Section
134 of the Evidence Act.

….

26. We do not find anything in Masalti (supra) which in any
way qualifies the well settled principle that the conviction can
be founded upon the testimony of even a single witness if it
establishes in clear and precise terms, the overt acts
constituting the offence as committed by certain named
assailants and if such testimony is otherwise reliable. … The
test adopted in Masalti (supra) as a rule of prudence cannot
mean that in every case of mob violence there must be more
than one eyewitness.”

366. In light of this position, the uncontroverted deposition of PW-1 is
more than sufficient to bring home the guilt of A-5. On the broader aspects
of the deposition of PW-1, the Court finds sufficient corroboration by the
other witnesses. Therefore, no interference is called for with the convictions
recorded by the trial Court qua A-5 or the sentence awarded to him
therefor. This Court also sees it fit to further convict him for the offence of
criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read with Sections 436,
153A (1) (a) and (b), and 295 IPC. He is sentenced in the manner indicated
hereafter.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 190 of 203

Crimes against humanity
367.1. The Court would like to note that cases of the present kind are
indeed extraordinary and require a different approach to be adopted by the
Courts. The mass killings of Sikhs between 1st and 4th November 1984 in
Delhi and the rest of the country, engineered by political actors with the
assistance of the law enforcement agencies, answer the description of
„crimes against humanity‟ that was acknowledged for the first time in a
joint declaration by the governments of Britain, Russia and France on 28 th
May 1915 against the government of Turkey following the large scale
killing of Armenians by the Kurds and Turks with the assistance and
connivance of the Ottoman administration. The declaration termed the
killings as “crimes against humanity and civilization for which all the
members of the Turkish Government will be held responsible together with
its agents implicated in the massacres”

367.2. The Charter that established, after the conclusion of the Second
World War, the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg to try
Nazi criminals accused of mass extermination of Jews defined „crimes
against humanity‟ as:

“…murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other
inhumane acts committed against any civilian population,
before or during the war, or prosecutions on political, racial or
religious grounds in execution or in connection with any crime
within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in
violation of the domestic law of the country where
perpetrated.”

367.3. The IMT proceeded to hold many of the defendants before it guilty

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 191 of 203
of that crime. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY), as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR), held trials for a series of offences including genocide, war
crimes and crimes against humanity. The definition adopted of „crimes
against humanity‟ in Article 3 of the ICTR Statute was that they were
‘inhumane acts’ that were part of a “systematic or widespread attack against
any civilian population on national, political, ethnic, racial or religious
grounds.”

367.4. Article 7 of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court
defines „crimes against humanity‟ as meaning “any of the following acts
when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed
against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack..” and this
includes (a) Murder; (b) Extermination; (c) Enslavement and so on and
“other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great
suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.” It
incorporates the criminal element of „murder‟ „rape‟ etc. but also a
contextual element viz., the perpetrator must be aware that he is
contributing to a widespread or systematic attack against civilians.

367.5. It is widely acknowledged that Prof. Hersch Lauterpacht, a
renowned international law jurist, who held the Whewell Chair of
International Law at the University of Cambridge was responsible for
making the offence of „crime against humanity‟ part of the offences for
which the Nazi defendants would be tried at the IMT in Nuremberg.
Another renowned scholar, a contemporary of Prof. Lauterpacht, was Prof.

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 192 of 203
Raphael Lemkin whose academic efforts were instrumental in bringing
about the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide (the Genocide Convention) which has been ratified by India. In a
book titled East West Street (Weidenfeld Nicolson, 2016) p. xxix, Prof.
Philippe Sands explains the distinction between the two concepts as under:

“What is the difference between crimes against humanity and
genocide?

Imagine the killing of 1000,000 people who happened to come
from the same group…..Jews or Poles in the city of Lviv. For
Lauterpacht, the killing of individuals, if part of a systematic
plan, would be a crime against humanity. For Lemkin, the
focus was genocide, the killing of the many with the intention
of destroying the group of which they were a part. For a
prosecutor today, the difference between the two was largely
the question of establishing intent: to prove genocide, you
needed to show that the act of killing was motivated by an
intent to destroy the group, whereas for crimes against
humanity no such intent had to be shown…. proving intent to
destroy a group in whole or in part was notoriously difficult,
since those involved in such killings tended not to leave a trail
of helpful paperwork.”

367.6. In India, the riots in early November 1984 in which in Delhi alone
2,733 Sikhs and nearly 3,350 all over the country were brutally murdered
(these are official figures) was neither the first instance of a mass crime nor,
tragically, the last. The mass killings in Punjab, Delhi and elsewhere during
the country‟s partition remains a collective painful memory as is the
killings of innocent Sikhs in November 1984. There has been a familiar
pattern of mass killings in Mumbai in 1993, in Gujarat in 2002, in
Kandhamal, Odisha in 2008, in Muzaffarnagar in U.P. in 2013 to name a
few. Common to these mass crimes were the targeting of minorities and the
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 193 of 203
attacks spearheaded by the dominant political actors being facilitated by the
law enforcement agencies. The criminals responsible for the mass crimes
have enjoyed political patronage and managed to evade prosecution and
punishment. Bringing such criminals to justice poses a serious challenge to
our legal system. As these appeals themselves demonstrate, decades pass by
before they can be made answerable. This calls for strengthening the legal
system. Neither „crimes against humanity‟ nor „genocide‟ is part of our
domestic law of crime. This loophole needs to be addressed urgently.

367.7. Elsewhere too, the legal systems of the world are grappling with
„crimes against humanity‟. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh, in Abdul
Quader Molla (supra), considered the appeal of the government against the
acquittal of the accused of mass killing of Bangladeshi citizens committed
in 1971 by sympathisers of the Pakistani Army. The trial commenced in
2009, 38 years after the incident, and concluded in 2013. The following
observations of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh resonate with the fact
situation in the present appeals:

“88. The investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of core
crimes against humanity often take place years or decades after
their actual commission. Such delay usually results as societies
recovering from mass atrocity are faced with a variety of more
pressing reconstructive needs; a fragile political environment;
or a lack of criminal justice capacity. Much time may be
required before post-atrocity societies are able to implement
fair and effective criminal trials. The undertaking of such
delayed prosecutions is nevertheless supported by arguments
made by various international legal actors that domestic
statutes of limitations do not apply to such crimes. There may
in fact be an increase in such prosecutions in the future as the
pursuit of individual accountability for such crimes becomes a

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 194 of 203
norm, rather than an exception, with societies increasingly
willing and able to investigate atrocities perpetrated in their
past. Even when such prosecutions are undertaken by
international criminal courts, such as the International Criminal
Court („ICC‟), experience shows that all too often it is many
years before investigations are effectively initiated or an
accused person actually brought to trial.

….

256. As noticed above, the incidents took place in 1971 and the
witnesses deposed before the tribunal in 2012 after about 41
years. The witnesses who saw the incidents dared to depose for
fear of reprisal and due to such delay most of the material
evidence have been destroyed by reason of death of some vital
witnesses and the change of political atmosphere in the
intervening period. Under such circumstances, the prosecution
has collected best evidence available to prove the charges. The
defence has not at all denied any of the incidents. It has merely
denied the appellant‟s complicity. Under such circumstances, it
is to be looked into whether the story introduced by the
prosecution is reliable or the story introduced by the defence is
probable. The tribunal had to weigh the facts and
circumstances, the materials placed before it and believed the
version given by the prosecution as reliable. It should not be
ignored that although huge number of persons were brutally
killed and some girls were raped, the prosecution witnesses
pointed fingers at one person, the appellant who, with his
Behari cohorts perpetrated the incidents. If the prosecution was
launched for political victimization, as suggested, it could have
implicated other leaders of Jamat-e-Islami in the said incidents.
….

267. On behalf of the defence it was submitted that in her book
„Shahid Kabi Meherunnessa‟ ext-B, she did not state that
Abdul Quader Molla killed them, rather she stated that the
Non-Bangalees suddenly attacked Meher‟s house and killed
her brothers, mother and Meher. She was confronted with this
statement in course of cross-examination. In reply she stated
that since no steps were taken for the trial of the perpetrators of
war crimes, she did not mention any one‟s name in her book

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 195 of 203
for fear of reprisal in the hands of perpetrators and that she
deposed against Quader Molla at this stage as his trial was
proceeding. This explanation appears to me cogent, reasonable,
believable in the context of the situation then prevailing in the
country. The perpetrators of Crimes Against Humanity were
rewarded by the authorities in power since August 15, 1975
instead of putting them to justice. It is only this present
Government which pledged to the people to put them on trial
and after coming to power in 2009 started the process of trial.
This is an admitted fact and the court can take judicial notice of
this fact. The defence suggested to this witness that in 1971 in
the Mirpur locality one Quader Molla namely Behari Kasai
was involved in all those atrocities. She denied the suggestion.
The defence failed to substantiate its claim to prove the
existence of one Kasai Quader Molla other than the appellant.
This suggestion sufficiently supported the prosecution version
that the appellant was the main perpetrator of all killing and
inhuman acts committed at Mirpur.”

367.8. The Court of Appeal in United Kingdom in Anthony Sawoniuk
(supra) was dealing with the issue of framing criminal proceedings 56 years
after the alleged crime. The Jury had convicted the Appellant on two counts
of murder and on account of killing of Polish Jews during the Nazi era. The
Appellate Court rejected the contention of the accused and refused leave to
appeal before the European Court of Human Rights („ECHR‟). Thereafter,
the ECHR, by its judgment dated 29th May 2001, upheld his conviction.
This obligation to prosecute crimes against humanity, no matter the lapse of
time, has also been echoed by International Criminal Law- Critical
Concepts in Law, 2015 (1st Ed) wherein it was opined that “no amount of
time can be ‘too long’ to satisfy the needs for truth and some measure of
accountability, nor can come arbitrary legal time limit be set. The argument
that some wounds are too old to be exposed has little moral integrity… the

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 196 of 203
wounds are still there for all to see”.

367.9. The International Law Commission („ILC‟) is at present working
towards a Convention on Crimes against Humanity. It has submitted the
draft articles of the Convention to the UN General Assembly. It is expected
that after comments are received from governments, international
organizations and others, followed by a second reading of the draft articles
by the ILC in 2018, the proposed convention will be adopted by the UN
General Assembly in 2019 or 2020. India, in view of her experience with
the issue, should be able to contribute usefully to the process.

367.10. The Court has digressed into the above brief discussion on „crimes
against humanity‟ since cases like the present are to be viewed in the larger
context of mass crimes that require a different approach and much can be
learnt from similar experiences elsewhere. The following observations of
our Supreme Court in Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar (2017) 4 SCC 397 are
relevant in this context:

“There can be no denial of the fact that the rights of the victims
for a fair trial is an inseparable aspect of Article 21 of the
Constitution and when they assert that right by themselves as
well as the part of the collective, the conception of public
interest gets galvanised. The accentuated public interest in such
circumstances has to be given primacy, for it furthers and
promotes “Rule of Law”. It may be clarified at once that the
test of primacy which is based on legitimacy and the public
interest has to be adjudged on the facts of each case and cannot
be stated in abstract terms. It will require studied scanning of
facts, the competing interests and the ultimate perception of the
balancing that would subserve the larger public interest and
serve the majesty of rule of law.”

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 197 of 203

Summary of conclusions

368. The summary of conclusions arrived at by the Court is as under:

(i) There was an abject failure by the police to investigate the violence
which broke out in the aftermath of the assassination of the then
Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi is apparent from the several
circumstances highlighted hereinabove. (Para 136)

(ii) There was an utter failure to register separate FIRs with respect to the
five deaths that form the subject matter of the present appeals. The
failure to record any incident whatsoever in the DDR and the lack of
mention of PW-1‟s statement therein, amongst other circumstances,
established the apathy of the Delhi Police and their active connivance
in the brutal murders being perpetrated. (Paras 146 and 149)

(iii) What happened in the aftermath of the assassination of the then
Prime Minister was carnage of unbelievable proportions in which
over 2,700 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone. The law and order
machinery clearly broke down and it was literally a „free for all‟
situation which persisted. The aftershocks of those atrocities are still
being felt. (Para 152)

(iv) This was an extraordinary case where it was going to be impossible
to proceed against A-1 in the normal scheme of things because there
appeared to be ongoing large-scale efforts to suppress the cases
against him by not even recording or registering them. Even if they
were registered they were not investigated properly and even the
investigations which saw any progress were not carried to the logical
end of a charge sheet actually being filed. Even the defence does not

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 198 of 203
dispute that as far as FIR No.416/1984 is concerned, a closure report
had been prepared and filed but was yet to be considered by the
learned MM. (Para 159)

(v) The argument that the CBI deliberately suppressed the fact of the
pendency of the closure report in FIR No.416/1984 is born out of
sheer desperation. Even if FIR No.416/1984 was not closed as
„untraced‟, the fact remains that there was no progress whatsoever in
the said FIR. (Para 160)

(vi) PW-1 comes across as a fearless and truthful witness. Till she was
absolutely certain that her making statements will serve a purpose,
she did not come forward to do so. Nothing in the deposition of PW-
1 points to either untruthfulness or unreliability. Her evidence
deserves acceptance. (Paras 219 and 220)

(vii) PW-4 is also definitely a witness in support of the case of the
prosecution. (Para 232)

(viii) PW-6 was one of the persons who had suffered tragedies and had no
reason to falsely implicate anyone. (Para 242)

(ix) The failure to examine important witnesses including PWs 3, 4, 6, 7,
9 and 12 by the Riot Cell of the Delhi Police and also the non-
examination of Daljit Kaur and Harbhajan Kaur establishes that the
Riot Cell did not carry out any genuine investigation. PW-1 was
justified in not joining such an investigation. (Paras 280 and 281)

(x) The trial Court completely omitted to address the charge of
conspiracy despite detailed arguments submitted by the CBI in that
regard. There was a two-pronged strategy adopted by the attackers.
First was to liquidate all Sikh males and the other was to destroy their
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 199 of 203
residential houses leaving the women and children utterly destitute.
The attack on the Raj Nagar Gurudwara was clearly a part of the
communal agenda of the perpetrators. (Paras 288 and 294)

(xi) The mass killings of Sikhs between 1st and 4th November 1984 in
Delhi and the rest of the country, engineered by political actors with
the assistance of the law enforcement agencies, answer the
description of „crimes against humanity‟. Cases like the present are to
be viewed in the larger context of mass crimes that require a different
approach and much can be learnt from similar experiences elsewhere.
(Paras 367.1 and 367.10)

(xii) Common to the instances of mass crimes are the targeting of
minorities and the attacks spearheaded by the dominant political
actors facilitated by the law enforcement agencies. The criminals
responsible for the mass crimes have enjoyed political patronage and
managed to evade prosecution and punishment. Bringing such
criminals to justice poses a serious challenge to our legal system.
Decades pass by before they can be made answerable. This calls for
strengthening the legal system. Neither „crimes against humanity‟ nor
„genocide‟ is part of our domestic law of crime. This loophole needs
to be addressed urgently. (Para 367.6)

(xiii) The acquittal of A-1 by the trial Court is set aside. He is convicted of
the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B
read with Sections 302, 436, 295, and 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC; for
the offence punishable under Section 109 IPC of abetting the
commission of the aforementioned offences; and for the offence of
delivering provocative speeches instigating violence against Sikhs
Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 200 of 203
punishable under Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC. (Para 307)

(xiv) The convictions and sentences of A-2 to A-6 as ordered by the trial
Court are affirmed. Additionally, each of them is convicted for the
offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B read
with Sections 436, 295, and 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC. (Paras 331,
356, 360, and 366)

Sentences

369. As far as A-1 is considered, he is sentenced as under:

(i) For the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section
120B read with

(a) Section 302 IPC, to imprisonment for life, i.e. the remainder of
his natural life;

(b) Section 436 IPC, to RI for 10 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh and
in default of payment of fine to undergo simple imprisonment
(SI) for 1 year;

        (c)     Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC, to RI for three years; and
(d) Section 295 IPC, to RI for two years.
(ii) For the offence punishable under Section 109 read with Sections 302,

436, 153A, and 295 IPC to identical sentences as in (i) (a) to (d)
above.

(iii) For the offence punishable under Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC, to
RI for three years.

All sentences shall run concurrently.

370. The bail and surety bonds furnished by A-1 stand cancelled and he

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 201 of 203
shall surrender not later than 31st December 2018, failing which he shall
forthwith be taken into custody to serve out the sentences awarded to him.
A-1 shall not from this moment till his surrender leave the NCT of Delhi in
the meanwhile and shall immediately provide to the CBI the address and
mobile number(s) where he can be contacted.

371. As far as A-2 to A-6 are concerned, in addition to the sentences
awarded to each of them for the offences for which they were found guilty
by the trial Court, this Court sentences each of them as under:

(i) For the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under
Section 120B read with

(a) Section 436 IPC, to RI for 10 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh and
in default of payment of fine to undergo SI for 1 year;

        (b)     Section 153A (1) (a) and (b) IPC, to RI for three years; and
(c) Section 295 IPC, to RI for two years.

All sentences, including those awarded by the trial Court, to run
concurrently.

372. A-2, A-4, and A-5 are already in custody. A-3 and A-6 shall surrender
not later than 31st December 2018, failing which they shall forthwith be
taken into custody to serve out the sentences awarded to each of them. The
bail bonds and surety bonds furnished by A-3 and A-6 stand cancelled
forthwith.

373. A-3 and A-6 shall not, from this moment till their surrender, leave the
NCT of Delhi in the meanwhile and each of them shall immediately

Crl.A. 1099/2013 Connected Matters Page 202 of 203
provide to the CBI the addresses and mobile number(s) where each of them
can be contacted.

Conclusion

374. Crl.A.861/2013 by A-2, Crl.A.715/2013 by A-3, Crl.A.851/2013 by
A-4, Crl.A.710/2014 by A-5, and Crl.A.753/2013 by A-6 are accordingly
dismissed. Crl.A.1099/2013 filed by the CBI is partly allowed in the above
terms.

375. All pending applications are disposed of. Separate consequential
orders have been passed in the individual appeals.

S. MURALIDHAR, J.

VINOD GOEL, J.

DECEMBER 17, 2018
mw/rd/tr

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