The Apex Court on 30th April released seven persons who were accused of involvement in 1984 Anti Sikh Riots and were sentenced by the Delhi HC. The Delhi HC last year convicted these 7 accused under Sec 147, 188 and 436 of the IPC and ordered for 5 years of rigorous imprisonment. However, SC in its recent order overturned the decision of HC and released them due of lack of appropriate evidence.
According to the three judges bench comprising of CJI, all four prosecution witness who testified in the matter have failed to prove that the accused were a member of the unlawful assembly which indulged in rioting, arson, looting etc. A mere passive witness present as a matter of curiosity without any intention to entertain the common objective cannot be held guilty. The court said that “Prosecution succeeded in establishing against the accused-appellants at the utmost and at best that they were arrested, but that by itself will not make the accused-appellants liable for the offences alleged”.
Therefore, the court ordered for releasing of the 7 accused due to lack of at least two witnesses needed who could prove involvement of the accused in unlawful assembly.