Anti-Sikh riots: SC reserves verdict on Sajjan`s appeal

SC reserved its verdict on Sajjan Kumar`s plea challenging initiation of criminal proceedings against him in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a petition filed by senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar challenging initiation of criminal proceedings
against him in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

A Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and A R Dave concluded the hearing on the appeal filed by Kumar against the Delhi High Court decision which had on July 19 refused to stay the trial against him.

However, the apex court had on August 13 stayed for two weeks trial proceedings against Kumar facing murder and other charges in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
The high court had on July 19 refused to quash various charges, including that of murder, against Kumar, saying the delay in prosecution has apparently benefited him. Kumar has contended that the observations made by the High Court could have a bearing on the trial.

In a special leave petition, Kumar has contended that the complainants` testimony against him were unreliable and the High Court had made various uncalled for observations that
could determine the fate of the trial.

CBI had defended its decision to re-investigate the case against Kumar for his alleged involvement in the riots, saying it was a decision taken by Parliament.

Kumar, a former Outer Delhi MP, is facing prosecution in two cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against Sikh community in the aftermath of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi`s assassination on October 31, 1984.
The trial court had in May this year framed charges against Kumar under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC paving the way for his trial as well as that of five others.

CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against members of Sikh community during the carnage that led to the killing of five persons in Delhi Cantonment area. Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

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 riots. The trial court had on July seven framed charges against the politician in another case in connection with the anti-Sikh riots.