1984 riots: Police to provide protection to 3 witnesses

New Delhi, Sept 27: A week after the Delhi High Court order, the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) today asked police to provide 24-hour security to three witnesses in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases involving senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

D S Punia, member secretary of DLSA, directed Delhi Police Commissioner to provide security to prosecution witnesses Sheela Kaur, Popri Kaur and Joginder Singh after they expressed apprehension of threats. A CBI report was also filed subsequently.

Secretary is the nodal officer appointed by the high court earlier in a similar matter till the enactment of new legislation on the issue. The nodal officer also asked other six witnesses to appear before him on October 10.

On September 18, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana had referred the matter to DLSA while hearing a PIL for direction to provide protection to the witnesses in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. The bench had asked senior advocate H S Phoolka, counsel for petitioner, to approach the DLSA.

A PIL was filed in the high court by 'November 1984 Carnage Justice Committee' for a direction to Delhi and Punjab governments to provide security to the witnesses during the pendency of the cases before the trial court.

Citing a list of witnesses in two anti-Sikh riot cases, the PIL said, "Despite various judgements and orders passed by various courts, including the high court and the apex court, to the effect that the witnesses should not be allowed to come under pressure of the accused and that it is the duty of the government to provide adequate protection to the witnesses, the respondents have failed to abide by the same."


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