1984 riots: HC notice to Centre on compensation plea

New Delhi, Dec 2: The Delhi High Court Monday issued notices to the central and the Delhi governments on a plea of a 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim’s widow asking the government to provide her compensation for her loss.

A division bench of Justice P.K. Bhasin and Justice V.P. Vaish sought the governments’ response by Dec 12 and asked them to “explain the steps taken on the representation made by Jagdish Kaur”, also a witness in the case, seeking compensation.

The bench said: “As per Section 357 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code), state government is expected to prepare a scheme in coordination with the Centre to compensate the victim of the loss and injury caused to them because of the crime.”

The bench refused to accept the arguments of Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) counsel that the question on compensation should be adjudicated after the criminal case against the accused in the case is decided.

To this, the court said: “Their (accused) acquittal may result in they not paying the compensation, but the deaths will remain. The state has the duty to pay in any case.”

Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, appearing for Kaur, said he will not press for enhancement of punishment to the convicts of the 1984 anti-sikh riots case, but wanted her plea to confine to compensation issue only.

Kaur had earlier challenged the trial court’s order that acquitted former Delhi legislator Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar of the charges of murder, while sentencing them to three years in jail for rioting.

IANS