A Delhi court on Wednesday issued a non-bailable warrant against senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in two 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, taking exception to his non-appearance in the court. His anticipatory bail plea is likely to be heard by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

Taking cognisance of the charge sheets, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma had issued summons to all accused, including Sajjan Kumar, to appear on Wednesday.

Apprehending arrest, the Congress leader moved an anticipatory bail plea before a Special Judge for CBI cases, but the court did not grant him relief.

Sajjan Kumar then moved an anticipatory bail application in the High Court in both cases on Tuesday. The application was listed for hearing before Justice Madan B. Lokur, who adjourned it to Wednesday, rejecting the plea for an urgent hearing.

Hearing deferred

On Wednesday, Justice S.L. Bhayana heard the matter in the absence of the judge before whom the matter was listed. Justice Bhayana deferred the hearing till Thursday, stating that the regular Bench would hear the matter.

Sajjan Kumar, however, did not appear before the trial court later.

Although the Congress leader's counsel pleaded that he be granted exemption from appearance as his bail plea was scheduled to be heard on Thursday, the court noted there was no stay on the proceedings and so Sajjan Kumar was "duty-bound" to appear before the court. The court issued non-bailable warrants against seven other accused who also did not appear before the court.

The High Court granted stay on the arrest of two other accused for a day.

Earlier in the day, the trial court's proceedings were adjourned twice awaiting the High Court order on Sajjan Kumar's plea. While the proceedings were on, a large number of Sikh protesters staged a demonstration outside the Karkardooma Court premises, demanding stern action against Sajjan Kumar.

The former Congress MP was charge-sheeted by the CBI for allegedly making provocative speeches leading to the killing of about a dozen people during the riots.

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