NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against 12 ex-policemen of Uttar Pradesh after they failed to surrender before it to serve life term awarded to them for the killing 42 people of a minority community in Hashimpura locality of Meerut in 1987.
The Delhi High Court had awarded life imprisonment to 16 ex-policemen, all of whom have retired, and had directed them to surrender on or before November 22.
Additional Sessions Judge Smita Garg sent the remaining four convicts to Tihar central jail after they surrendered before the court as per October 31 directions of the High Court.
The convicts -- Jaipal Singh, Mahesh Pratap Singh, Sami Ullal Khan and Niranjan Lal -- were taken into custody after they surrendered before the court.
"Since the remaining 12 convicts have failed to surrender in compliance of the order dated October 31, passed by the High Court, let NBW (non-bailable warrant) be issued against them and notice to their respective sureties," the court said.
The HC had on October 31 sentenced the 16 former Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel to life imprisonment in the case, reversing a trial court's verdict which had acquitted the accused.
They were convicted for murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code.
The high court had on September 6 reserved its verdict on the appeals filed by Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and some private parties including a survivor of the massacre, Zulfiqar Nasir.
It had also reserved its judgement on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's plea seeking further probe to ascertain the alleged role of the then Minister of State for Home P Chidambaram in the case.
The court had on February 17, 2016, tagged Swamy's plea with the other petitions in the matter.
On March 21, 2015, a trial court here had acquitted the 16 former PAC personnel giving them benefit of doubt, saying their identification could not established due to lack of evidence.
Nineteen people were named as accused and charges were framed against 17 of them for offences of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy, by the court here in 2006.
The case was transferred to Delhi on a Supreme Court direction in September 2002 following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors.
Of the 17 accused, the trial court had acquitted 16, while one died during the trial.
The NHRC had intervened in the matter seeking further probe into the massacre in the Hashimpura locality of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
A trial court had on March 8, 2013, dismissed Swamy's plea for further probe to ascertain the role of Chidambaram, saying he has no locus standi and it is only the police which can move an application for further probe. Thereafter, Swamy had approached the high court with the appeal.