New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday sought clarifications from the CBI and defence counsel on pleas of three accused facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, who, along with Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, are seeking transfer of the case on the ground of jurisdiction.
District Judge Rakesh Siddhartha, who recently took charge of the court, after seeking clarifications fixed the matter for February 20 for pronouncing order on the pleas.
"Today the matter was fixed for orders. However, some clarifications were required. To come up for clarifications/ orders on February 20," the court said.
The judge said the case was earlier marked to this court by order of the then district judge and he cannot supersede that order.
"I, being a district judge, cannot supersede the order of another district judge. As a district judge, at this juncture, can I transfer the case? Do I have the power to send it to the other court," the judge asked, to which the counsel for the CBI and accused replied in the negative.
Sajjan Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peeriya and Ved Prakash are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting in a case of killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri area of West Delhi.
The pleas were moved by Gupta, Peeriya and Ved Prakash for transfer of the case from Karkardooma district court in East Delhi to Rohini district court on ground of jurisdiction.
CBI prosecutor D P Singh said as per the provisions of CrPC, a district judge does not have the power to transfer a case from his division to another as such power lies only with the high court.
He argued that a similar riot case, also involving Sajjan Kumar and others, was earlier decided by the same court but the accused had not raised the transfer issue then, which showed "malafide intention and malice" on their part.
Advocate Anil Kumar Sharma, who was representing Gupta and Peeriya, argued that the court should implement the Delhi High Court's 2013 order asking sessions judges to transfer the cases as per their jurisdiction.
The defence counsel had earlier argued that the case needed to be transferred to its respective district Rohini for want of jurisdiction as the alleged occurrence pertained to Sultanpuri area and not in the jurisdiction of this court.
During the day's hearing, the judge asked the defence counsel if they had any complaints against the previous judge, who was heading the court and before whom the plea was moved.
To this the defence counsel said they had nothing against any judge.
Earlier, the order on the pleas was reserved for January 31 by District Judge Talwant Singh, who got transferred to another court before pronouncing the verdict.
The court in July 2010 had framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with killing of a man in Sultanpuri in the riots which had occurred in the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Accused Khushal Singh has since died.
The trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence.