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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom High Court Acquits Woman Of Murder During '84 Riots


1947-2014 (Archived)
High court acquits woman of murder during '84 riots

Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 16:57 IST

Justifying freedom to Kaushalya, HC said the trial court depended entirely on the findings of the Ranganath Mishra and Jain commissions that testified that the law and order machinery had broken down for a few days after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and police aided the massacre of innocent Sikhs.

The case was opened after Gopi Bai told police 12 years after the riots that Kaushalya and the others had murdered her husband and his nephew. She later retracted the statement, but the trial court disbelieved her evidence and convicted her.

HC said one may have a suspicion about the involvement of Kaushalya in the crime because of the circumstances, but "the fact remains that suspicion is no substitute for proof in a criminal prosecution".

In another case, HC directed the arrest of Om Prakash and his neighbour Ved Prakash for murdering another neighbour Thakur Singh. They have been on bail since 1996 when they appealed to HC against their conviction by the trial court.

The judgment by justices Ajit Bharihoke and SK Kaul assumes significance because they also sentenced the accused to six months in jail for defying prohibitory orders clamped in the aftermath of Gandhi's assassination.
The judges also said that it wasn't possible for the widow of slain Thakur Singh to approach police immediately and file a complaint because of the horrible situation in riot-torn Delhi when Sikhs were scared to come out.

forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik

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