A Delhi court on Thursday transferred two 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, allegedly involving Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others, from a Special CBI Judge to a sessions court.
“Indisputably, Delhi is one sessions division and any Additional Sessions Judge can try the case. This is not a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“The charge sheets were assigned to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of the North East district who conducted the committal proceedings, so the cases are allocated to Additional Sessions Judge (NE) Sunita Gupta,” District and Sessions Judge G.P. Mittal said.
The court directed all the accused as well as the CBI counsel to appear before the ASJ on April 5, 2010.
Earlier, the court reserved its order on a plea of a co-accused of Kumar seeking transfer of riots cases from a special court to a judge having local jurisdiction.
The court heard the arguments of counsel for CBI and Khushal Singh, the co-accused of Mr. Kumar, in the matter.
During arguments in the matter, V.K. Malik, counsel for Khushal, submitted that it was illegal to try an offence before a court which does not have jurisdiction in the matter.
He contended that Delhi has been divided into nine judicial districts and so the cases relating to killings of the victims during the riots should be tried at the courts having proper jurisdiction.
Mr. Malik submitted that since the cases in which CBI filed the charge sheet related to the offence that took place in Sultanpuri and Delhi Cantonment area, they should be tried at Rohini and Dwarka courts respectively.
However, D.P. Singh, counsel for CBI, said that the application of the accused has already been disposed of by a special CBI judge at Karkardooma.
The CBI counsel also submitted that the file has been sent only for administrative purposes for proper allocation of the cases.
The CBI, which claimed that the files related to two cases were sent by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) to the Special judge at Karkardooma, was put some tough questions by the judge.
“Who gave power to the ACMM? Does the ACMM has the power to send a file to a special court?” the district judge asked.
Appearing for the complainant, senior advocate H.S. Phoolka submitted that the accused had already accepted the jurisdiction of the Karkardooma court by filing anticipatory bail petition before it.
Mr. Phoolka’s submission led to a heated argument with the counsel for the accused opposing his plea alleging that he did not have right to speak in the matter to which Mr. Phoolka shot back saying the matter related to public sentiments and involved larger interest of the community.
A special CBI court at Karkardooma had on March 27 disallowed the plea of Khushal who had sought transfer of cases by raising objection over its jurisdiction, but had sent the case files to the district judge to seek proper allocation for hearing.
On March 20, 2010 the ACMM had declined to take on record an application of Kumar seeking certain documents related to the charge sheet filed against him in the riot cases and directed them to appear before the CBI court.
The High Court had on February 8, 2010 asked the trial court to put the anti-Sikh riot cases on fast track with a direction to wind up the proceedings within six weeks.
The CBI had filed two charge sheets on January 13, 2010 in the riots cases registered on the recommendation of Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission which had inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.