National

Anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court rejects early hearing plea by SIT against Sajjan Kumar

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar. | File

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar. | File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

“Application for early hearing is dismissed,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kand.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an Special Investigation Team (SIT) plea seeking early hearing of its petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted in 2018 to jailed former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

“Application for early hearing is dismissed,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kand.

While refusing the plea, the Bench asked the SIT, “Is he inside the jail or not”.

The Bench was referring to the case in which Sajjan Kumar has been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The SIT has filed an appeal against the Delhi High Court decision of February 22, 2018, upholding a trial court order granting anticipatory bail to Sajjan Kumar in two anti-Sikh riots cases, saying that according to records, he was available throughout the investigation.

He was granted anticipatory bail by the trial court on December 21, 2016 in two cases of killing of three Sikhs during the riots which had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards.

Sajjan Kumar had submitted that his name was never taken earlier and it was a case of fresh allegations coming up after three decades.

He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case on December 17, 2018. Kumar resigned from the Congress after he was convicted by the high court.

The case in which he was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1-2 in 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

Kumar has also challenged in the apex court the Delhi High Court’s verdict of December 17 last year that awarded him life imprisonment for the “remainder of his natural life” in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

It had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by a trial court to five others - former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and ex-MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

The high court had set aside the trial court’s 2010 verdict, which had acquitted Kumar in the case.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:59:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/anti-sikh-riots-supreme-court-rejects-early-hearing-plea-by-sit-against-sajjan-kumar/article30963730.ece

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