A Delhi court on Saturday ordered framing of charges against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case relating to murder and spreading enmity between two communities.
Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta allowed CBI’s plea seeking prosecution of Kumar under various sections of IPC after finding prima facie evidence against him.
The court said that the charges under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) will be framed formally on May 18.
The framing of charges will pave the way for trial in the case. The Delhi High Court had earlier issued direction to complete the trial within six months of cases relating to anti-Sikh riots.
CBI had accused Mr. Kumar of provoking people against members of a particular community during the carnage that followed the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, leading to the killing of five persons in Delhi Cantonment area.
On the other hand, Mr. Kumar had claimed the accounts of CBI witnesses were not reliable as they had changed their versions a number of times.
“There are contradictions between different statements and affidavits given by witness Jagdish Kaur. She did not name Sajjan Kumar either in her first statement before police on November 3, 1984, or before Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission and Jain-Banerjee Committee that inquired into the riots,” he had claimed.
The former Outer Delhi MP had also contended that the case against him could not stand as CBI re-registered it even though a Delhi court had given him a clean chit, accepting a cancellation report filed by Delhi Police.
The probe agency, however, had also sought framing of charges against Kumar for being involved in sedition saying he had incited people belonging to one community against another.
Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.
CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others on January 13 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.