P O S T S C R I P T
1. My Report was completed towards the end of August 1988 but was not submitted as Delhi Administration desired that the other Members should also finalize his Report. The intervening period was, therefore, utilized to collect material to assess whether the conclusions arrived at were in consonance with the later developments especially the decisions of the courts.
2. From a study of the cases registered in connection with the riots and their subsequent disposal the following picture emerges. The Delhi Police registered about 391 cases during the first three days of November, 1984. Out of these cases, 225 were sent up for trial under various provisions of law. Of these 225 cases, we have been given to understand that only 11 have so far ended in conviction and 75 were acquitted ; 7 were discharged and 14 were either withdrawn or otherwise decided. At present, about 118 cases are still pending decision. The maximum number of convictions were secured in the Central District . In East District, no case has ended in conviction and in the remaining four Districts only one case each has ended in conviction.
3. A perusal of the decisions indicates that although a number of cases were registered against members of the Sikh community who were at the receiving end, not a single one so far has ended in conviction. They have either been withdrawn in the interest of communal harmony or have ended in acquittal. Another strange factor which emerges is that even cases registered against persons who were arrested on the spot have ended in acquittal. This clearly indicates that investigation and follow-up of the cases was of a very poor quality. Further, in spite of a large number of deaths which took place, only one case relating to murder has ended in conviction. This relates to FIR No. 412, P.S. Delhi Cantonment, Investigation was, however, on the basis of a subsequent complaint received from the affected person. In this case, 6 persons were convicted and awarded life imprisonment. This is an indicator to the fact that proper investigation, even after long delay, could result in successful prosecution and conviction. Details are given on page 391.
4. In the Central District, since pre-emptive action was taken in the initial stages, several cases have ended in conviction which clearly indicates that the police was alert and the follow-up also was of good quality.
5. The picture in respect of East District which was worst affected is really pitiable. Out of 89 cases registered , 59 were sent up for prosecution and not a single case has so far ended in conviction . On the other hand, 13 cases decided so far have ended in acquittal/discharge. This is a clear indicator of the attitude of the police of this District both during the riots and subsequently.
6. In the three other Districts badly affected viz. South, North and West, the position is also unsatisfactory. In South District, 134 cases were registered. Of these, only 61 were challaned and only one ended in conviction, 38 ended in acquittal and 71 have been treated as untraced. In West District out of 37 cases registered, 24 were challaned; only one case has ended in conviction and 12 have ended in acquittal. Similarly, in North District out of 49 cases registered and 32 sent up for trial, only one has ended in conviction and 10 in acquittal. This certainly reflects on the quality of investigation and follow-up even of the cases registered.
7. As far as the Delhi Railway Police is concerned, in whose jurisdiction a large number of trains were stopped and persons slaughtered, only 7 cases were registered and they have all been closed as untraced.
8. It is worthwhile mentioning that out of the cases which have ended in acquittal/discharge, in at least three cases the FIRs themselves mention arrests of79 persons ‘on the spot’. These persons were arrested for loot/arson or under preventive sections for breach of peace. The fact that even after ‘spot arrests’, miscreants could go Scot free would only confirm the conclusions we have drawn that there was lack of will on the part of the police personnel to pursue these matters to a logical conclusion. Of these, two cases are from Central District; FIR 367/84, P.S.Lahori Gate (26 persons); FIR 382/84, P.S. Lawrence Road (11 persons). In 5 cases of South District, 39 persons were shown to have been arrested : FIR No. 814/84, (8 persons); FIR No. 815/84(12 persons) FIR No. 817/84 (13 persons); FIRNo. 820/84(6 persons) all relating to Defence Colony and in FIR No. 909/84 ( 3 persons ) of PS Hauz Khas . All these cases have, however, ended in acquittal or discharge. Besides, in two cases in which property was actually recovered after cases were registered on 6.11.84 FIR No. 519/84 and 13.11.84 FIR No. 521/84 of P.S. Punjabi Bagh, all the accused were acquitted.
9. As indicated earlier, the cases against the Sikhs were either withdraw nor ended in acquittal. The following four cases were withdrawn:-
i) FIR No. 554/84 u/ss 302/307 IPC- PS West Patel Nagar ;
ii) FIR No. 474/84 u/ss 302/307/34 IPC- PS Rajinder Nagar ;
iii) FIR No. 798/84 u/ss 302/307/34 IPC- PS Karol Bagh; and
iv) FIR No. 424/84 u/ss 147/148/149/302/307 IPC- PS Kalyanpuri.
Four other cases in West District involving the Sikh community ended in acquittal or discharge – FIR No. 511/84, P.S.Punjabi Bagh; FIR No. 351/84, P.S.Nangloi ; FIR NO. 443/84, P.S. Tilak Nagar and FIR No. 469/84 PS Nizammudin, South District, which has been discussed in the Report on pages 301 and 302 , the case which was sent up for trial not only ended in acquittal but the decision contained adverse remarks against the police.
10. The above facts in respect of the case work are only illustrative in nature and point to the fact that the conclusions arrived at in the Report are generally in conformity with the findings in respect of the good and bad work done by the police personnel to control the riots and subsequent follow-up. It has not been considered desirable to go into further details and consider all other relevant aspects as a separate Committee had been set up by Delhi Administration to exclusively look into the registration, investigation and prosecution of November 1984 riot cases. This general analysis, however, has been made only to ascertain and determine whether the conclusions drawn in the Report tally in a general way with the results of the cases so far finalized in the courts.
(KM. KUSUM LATA MITTAL)
Date 28.2.1990 MEMBER