HC decides to hear appeals together in anti-Sikh riots case
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday ordered that all appeals relating to a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted while five others were convicted be jointly put before it for hearing.
"We will order requisition of all the case files. We feel that the files of all the convicted appellants be placed before us," a bench of justices P K Bhasin and J R Midha said.
The court was hearing the appeal of Balwan Khokhar, one of the five convicts, seeking setting aside of the trial court`s verdict awarding him life imprisonment for murder.
The bench has also sought a report from Tihar Jail superintendent on the time spent by Khokhar inside the prison and posted the matter for hearing on March 12.
Besides Khokhar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal were also awarded life imprisonment for the offence of murder.
While Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were convicted for the offence of rioting only in the case in which Sajjan Kumar, a former MP from Outer Delhi parliamentary seat, was acquitted for want of evidence.
All the convicts, except Girdhari Lal, have so far moved the high court against their conviction in the case.
CBI and Jagdish Kaur, a relative of the victim, have also filed cross-appeals challenging the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar and conviction of two persons under mild penal provisions.
The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Gandhi was shot dead by two of her bodyguards at her residence here.
The lower court had held that three out of five convicts, had a role in the death of five Sikhs Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh. The victims were members of the same family and were killed by the mob in Delhi Cantonment`s Raj Nagar area.
The two others were acquitted of murder charges and convicted for rioting only.
The case against Kumar and others was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.
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