New Delhi, April 21: Justice Rajinder Sachar (retd), former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, will be remembered for his unswerving commitment to the cause of justice for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims.
As a judge of the Delhi High Court in 1984, Justice Sachar was the first member of the judiciary to take a stand against the then Congress government led by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi over laxity in probing the carnage.
He not only castigated the government of the day for winding up relief camps set up for the victims, but also passed orders to set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the crimes against Sikhs.
HS Phoolka, the lawyer who has been representing the riot victims for years, said his mission had lost its mentor with the demise of Justice Sachar.
“Justice Sachar was the second seniormost judge of the Delhi HC at the time of the riots. He came down heavily on the Rajiv Gandhi government. Soon, the roster was changed and all cases were taken away from him. After his retirement in 1987, Justice Sachar became an active member of the Citizen Justice Committee which had been formed to get justice for the riot victims. I used to work under his guidance,” Phoolka said.
Justice Sachar also played an important part in the Nanavati Commission, representing the riot victims.
Justice Sachar later became part of another committee Phoolka formed in 2012 on the eve of the Punjab Assembly elections to flag the menace of drugs and alcohol.
“He joined the Civil Society against Drugs Committee. Here, too, he had a mentor’s role when I took out an 800-km march,” Phoolka said.