SC seeks affidavit on non-implementation of Srikrishna panel report

By staff reporter

New Delhi : The Supreme Court has directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit giving details of the cases registered against those involved in the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai and those discharged from the cases without any action taken against them.

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Pronouncing orders on Wednesday in a PIL filed in 1998 by Action Committee for Implementation of Srikrishna Commission Report and others, a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice Dalveer Bhandari, also asked the petitioners to file affidavits in six weeks indicating the major lapses and inconsistencies in the state's action taken report, viz. cases not registered against the indicted officials, public prosecutors not appointed, cases not conducted properly, etc.

The petitioners had alleged that successive governments had failed to take any action against those accused in the 1992-93 communal riots, which preceded the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts even though the Commission had recommended strong action against the erring police officials.

The Bench said that it was not possible for the apex court to meticulously inquire into each case but it could always give a general direction for action when there were glaring lapses on the part of the State government in taking action against the culprits as it did in the case of Gujarat riots.

Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan and Y.H. Muchala brought to the notice of the court that there was gross failure of justice as three action taken reports (ATRs) submitted by the government in 1998, 2004 and 2007 failed to specify the action taken against the culprits. They said that even the Special Task Force constituted by the government to act on the recommendations of the commission had sought action against several persons including police officers for their alleged involvement in the riots. But even those recommendations were ignored by successive governments, they said.

The petitioners Arif Naseem, Gulzar Azmi and Rasheed Siddiqui were present in the court in person.

Arif Naseem, Congress MLA and former state minister of Maharashtra, told the presspersons that he hoped the culprits indicted by Justice Srikrishna Commission would be brought to justice.