A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel reversed the trial court’s verdict which had acquitted the accused. The high court convicted 16 former Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel for murder and of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code.
CHRONOLOGY OF HASHIMPURA INCIDENT
– 1996: Charge sheet filed against 19 accused before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad.. 161 people listed as witnesses
– September 2002: Case transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on petition by the families of victims and survivors
– July 2006: Delhi court frames charges of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy under the IPC against 17 accused.
– March 8, 2013: Trial court dismisses Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking probe into the alleged role of P Chidambaram, then Minister of State in centre in the matter.
– January 22, 2015: Trial court reserves judgement.
– March 21: Court acquits 16 surviving accused giving them benefit of doubt regarding their identity.
– May 18: Trial court decision challenged in the Delhi HC by the victims’ families and eyewitnesses who survived the incident.
– May 29: HC issues notice to the 16 PAC personnel on Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal against the trial court verdict.
– December: National Human Rights Commission is impleaded in the matter. NHRC also seeks further probe in to the massacre.
– February 17, 2016: HC tags Swamy’s appeal with the other petitions in the matter.
– September 6, 2018: Delhi HC reserves verdict in the case.
– October 31: Delhi HC convicts 16 former PAC personnel for life after finding them guilty of murder of 42 people
Families of the affected have expressed satisfaction over the verdict.
The court also observed that monetary relief cannot compensate for the loss suffered by the victims’ families who had to wait for 31 years to get justice.