Sajjan verdict unfortunate, will appeal: Victims` counsel
New Delhi: Terming as "very unfortunate" the Delhi court verdict acquitting Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, senior advocate H S Phoolka, who is spearheading the legal battle for the riot victims, today said they will file an appeal.
"This is very unfortunate. The victims and their families are now frustrated. They are not keen on moving an appeal It is me who is trying to convince them to carry on their fight for justice," Phoolka said after Kumar was acquitted while five co-accused were convicted on various charges.
The advocate said he would be approaching superior court for filing an appeal against today`s judgement of the trial court.
He claimed "the court has taken a very hyper-technical view. How can the testimony of the witnesses recorded by it can be held against five accused and the testimony of the same witnesses is not held against one accused.
"When the statements of the witnesses are believed regarding the five accused, why they are not believed against Kumar?" said the senior counsel, who was visibly upset with the court`s verdict when he came out of the courtroom.
Sitting in a corner, he initially refused to speak. Later, he said, "The court has also not seen the behaviour of the Delhi Police from the very beginning. The court has not seen that there were six policemen who deposed in Kumar`s favour. The police has been shielding Kumar since day one."
"Once it has been shown that Delhi Police has connived with Kumar and attempted to shield the guilty at every stage and has forged records, it was highly improper to rely on the testimony of six Delhi Police officers who stated that Kumar was not there in Raj Nagar area and that the eye witnesses are lying," the counsel added.
Phoolka also said the court has failed to appreciate the "extraordinary circumstances" of the case.
Former Lok Sabha MP Kumar was acquitted by the court in a case of killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment`s Raj Nagar area during the 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.
The court, however, convicted co-accused Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal for the offence of murder while Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were held guilty of rioting only.
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