The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday came in for severe criticism from a trial court here for giving “lame excuses” for not arresting and producing Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others in two separate 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.
Dismissing the investigating agency’s alibis for not arresting Mr. Kumar, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar issued fresh non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against him and the other accused, and directed the Superintendent of Police concerned to ensure the execution of NBWs personally under the supervision of the CBI Director by March 10.
“Is this the manner in which the CBI functions? Where have all the accused gone?” the magistrate said.
Explaining the non-execution of the earlier NBWs issued by the court, the CBI submitted that it had raided Mr. Kumar’s house but could not arrest him as he was absconding. It had been able to arrest only one of the 12 accused in the two cases.
The accused, Girdhari Lal, was later produced before the court and the magistrate remanded him to judicial custody.
The court also dismissed a plea by the CBI for initiation of proceedings to declare Mr. Kumar and the accused proclaimed offenders under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code — to force them to appear before the court — but Mr. Lokesh Kumar rejected the plea saying the occasion for it had not arisen.
The magistrate also dismissed a plea by counsel for Mr. Sajjan Kumar, I.U. Khan, to exempt him from personal appearance till his anticipatory bail application pending before the Delhi High Court was decided.
Mr. Khan also dismissed the CBI’s allegation that Mr. Sajjan Kumar was absconding, submitting that he was availing of all the legal remedies available to protect his liberty.
However, the court accepted a plea by the CBI for closing a case against Mr. Sajjan Kumar and other accused in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case lodged with the Mangolpuri police in North-West after the complainant, Harvinder Kaur, failed to appear before the investigating agency despite receiving a notice.
The CBI had on January 13 charge-sheeted Mr. Sajjan Kumar and the other accused in the two cases. The agency had lodged the cases in 2005 on the recommendations of the Nanavati Commission.
Mr. Sajjan Kumar and his co-accused have been charged with murder (302), promoting enmity between classes (153-A) and other Sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The two cases relate to the killing of 12 people in the Sultanpuri and Delhi Cantonment areas in the riots that broke out after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.