Sikh riots: Court frames charges against Sajjan

A Delhi court on Friday framed charges of murder against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday framed
charges of murder and spreading enmity between two communities
against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots
case, saying there are sufficient grounds for presuming that
the violence was due to a "well-planned conspiracy".

Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta ordered framing
of charges against Kumar and five others under various
sections of the IPC, finding prima facie evidence against
"There are sufficient grounds for presuming that violent
incidents after October 31, 1984 in the following three days
were the result of the well-planned conspiracy and provocative
speeches made by accused Sajjan Kumar to the mob.

"(Kumar) instigated the mob and other accused who were
members of unlawful assembly resulting in robbing, burning
properties and killing members of Sikh community including
five deceased," the court said.

The formal framing of charges would pave the way for
beginning of the trial in the case with the court fixing July
one as the date for recording statement of witnesses.

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

All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and
expressed their willingness to contest them by signing on the
court order sheets.

The court framed charges under Sections 120-B
(conspiracy), 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief
causing damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between
different communities), 436 (mischief by fire or explosives)
and others under the IPC.
The court had on May 15 ordered framing of charges for
the offences, which carry maximum sentence of death penalty in
case of conviction.

CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against
members of a particular community during the carnage that
followed the assassination of the then 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 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 CBI re-registered it even
though a Delhi court had given him a clean chit, accepting a
cancellation report filed by Delhi Police.

"The discrepancies, inconsistencies and niceties pointed
out by the counsel for accused are not required to be gone
into as that will be critical evaluation of the evidence and
court at this juncture cannot involve itself in meticulous
appreciation of the evidence collected by the prosecution and
weigh the same in golden scales," the court said, brushing
aside their contentions.

CBI had filed two chargesheets 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

Meanwhile, I U Khan and A K Sharma, the counsel for Kumar
continued their arguments before the court against the CBI`s
plea to frame charges against the accused in another incident
of riots at Sultanpuri in which as many as six persons were

They referred to previous statements of witnesses
including that of Populi Kaur, Sheela Kaur, Jatani Kaur,
Bhagwani Bai, to claim that the CBI had relied upon their
versions even though they had before the judicial officers
denied any role of the politician in the riots.

The advocates are likely to continue their arguments on
May 31.


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