New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday adjourned till May 28 the formal framing of charges against senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta deferred the matter as one of the accused, Krishan Khokhar, was indisposed and could not appear before the court.

The formal framing of charges paves the way for initiation of trial in a case and the presence of all accused is required because he/she has to express his/her willingness either to contest the charges or admit them.

The court had on May 15 ordered framing of charges against the Congress leader in an anti-Sikh riot case relating to murder and spreading enmity between two communities after finding prima facie evidence against him.

It had allowed framing of charges for various offences under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief causing damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) under the IPC.

Other accused

Besides Sajjan Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

The CBI had accused 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.

In his defence, Kumar had claimed before the lower court that the accounts of CBI witnesses were not reliable as they had changed their versions a number of times.

The former Outer Delhi MP had also contended that the case against him could not stand as the CBI re-registered it even though a Delhi court had given him a clean chit, accepting a cancellation report filed by Delhi Police.

The 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 communal riots. -- PTI

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