1984 riots: HC seeks police response to convict’s plea

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi Police to file its response to a petition by a convict in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, challenging the capital punishment awarded to him.

The court was hearing Yashpal Singh’s plea against the conviction and the death penalty for killing a man in South Delhi’s Mahipalpur area on November 1, 1984.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which has listed the matter for further hearing on December 19, has also asked Singh to file his response to the police reference seeking confirmation of the death sentence.

The court will also hear Singh’s bail plea on the next date of hearing.

In November, a court convicted Singh and Naresh Sherawat for murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons.

Sherawat was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The two had killed Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Mahipalpur area during the riots that followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The violence claimed hundreds of lives, mostly in Delhi.

On a complaint by the victim’s brother Santokh Singh, the police lodged a case. But in 1994, the police wanted to close the case citing lack of evidence.

The case was reopened by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).