1984 anti-Sikh riots: SC asks CBI to apprise it of Sajjan Kumar​'s trial​ status

The CBI told a bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer that Kumar, who was a sitting MP in 1984, was the kingpin of the massacre of Sikhs in the national capital in 1984.

Published: 08th April 2019 11:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th April 2019 12:31 PM   |  A+A-

Sajjan Kumar 1984  Riots

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar (Photo | File/PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday asked the CBI to apprise it of the status of the ongoing trial in a case involving former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and listed his bail plea for hearing on April 15.

The CBI told a bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer that Kumar, who was a sitting MP in 1984, was the "kingpin" of the massacre of Sikhs in the national capital in 1984.

"This is a gruesome offence of massacre of Sikhs. He (Kumar) was the leader and he was the kingpin of this," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told the bench.

Mehta also told the bench it would be a "travesty of justice" if Kumar is enlarged on bail as he is facing trial in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case at Patiala House district court here.

The bench said that it would hear on April 15 bail plea of Kumar, who was convicted and sentenced to life term by the Delhi High Court in connection with a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment's Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1 and 2, 1984, and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

Anti-Sikh riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.

73-year-old Kumar has also challenged in the top court the Delhi High Court's December 17 last year verdict awarding him life imprisonment for the "remainder of his natural life" in the case.

Kumar had surrendered before a trial court here on December 31, 2018, to serve the sentence in pursuance of the high court's December 17 verdict.

After his conviction in the case, Kumar had resigned from the Congress party.

The CBI has recently told the apex court that Kumar's plea seeking bail in the case should be dismissed as he has a "large political clout" and is capable of "influencing or terrorising" witnesses in the case pending against him.

It has told the court that fair trial in the pending case would not be possible if Kumar is granted bail.

The top court had earlier admitted Kumar's appeal for hearing and had also issued a notice to the CBI on his bail plea seeking its response.

The high court had convicted and sentenced Kumar to spend the remainder of his life in jail for the offences of criminal conspiracy and abetment in the commission of crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony and defiling and destruction of a Gurdwara.

It had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by a trial court to five others — former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and ex-MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

In its judgment, the high court had noted that over 2,700 Sikhs were killed in the national capital during the 1984 riots which was a "carnage of unbelievable proportions".

It had said the riots were a "crime against humanity" perpetrated by those who enjoyed "political patronage" and aided by an "indifferent" law enforcement agency.

The high court had set aside the trial court's 2010 verdict which had acquitted Kumar in the case.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp