NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the CBI on the appeal of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar challenging the Delhi High Court verdict convicting and sentencing him to a life term in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi admitted Kumar’s appeal for hearing and also issued a notice to the CBI on his bail plea. The hearing was scheduled after six weeks.
Kumar, now 73, had surrendered before a trial court here on December 31, 2018, to serve the sentence in pursuance of the high court’s December 17 judgment awarding him life imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life.
After his conviction in the case, Kumar had resigned from the Congress party. The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced pertains to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area on November 1-2, 1984 and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part-II. The anti-Sikh riots broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards.
Handing him a conviction in the ‘84 riots case, the court said he would spend the ‘remainder of his natural life’ behind bars for criminal conspiracy and abetment in 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. The high court had set aside the trial court’s 2010 verdict acquitting Kumar in the case.