NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to suspend the sentence awarded to former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is undergoing life imprisonment in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Hearing a plea by Kumar seeking suspension of the sentence awarded to him by the Delhi High Court, the apex court said cases related to the 1984 riots were not “ordinary” and it was “very difficult” to pass an order suspending Sajjan Kumar’s life term without hearing the matter.
“We understand that these are not simple criminal cases,” a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai said, adding, “It is not an ordinary case”.
When advocate lawyer Vikas Singh, who was appearing for Kumar, urged the apex court that the plea be heard, the bench said, “We find it very difficult to grant an order which you are seeking without reading or without hearing”.
The bench said the plea would be heard in May next year during the summer vacation by a vacation bench.
The case in which Kumar, 73, was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part I area on November 1 and 2 in 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part II.
Kumar has challenged in the top court the Delhi High Court’s verdict of last December that awarded him life imprisonment for the “remainder of his natural life”. During the hearing on Monday, Singh told the bench that there was no allegation that Kumar was part of the attacking mob which committed the offence.
Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the complainant, said that Kumar was earlier acquitted by the trial court but the high court convicted him on “very cogent reasons”.
Singh argued that Kumar was the person who had helped in the rehabilitation of victims after the 1984 riots.