1984 riots: Court reserves order on framing of charges against Sajjan



New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order till July 1 on framing of charges against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others in connection with the killings of six persons during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

After hearing the arguments from the CBI and the accused, Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta said the court will pronounce its order on July 1.

The arguments in the case were wrapped up with the CBI seeking prosecution of former outer Delhi MP and four others for the murder, rioting and other offences under the IPC and the defence counsel requesting discharge of the accused claiming insufficient evidence.

During over two-hour arguments, CBI counsel D P Singh referred to statements of different witnesses including Bhagwani Bai and Chand Kaur to claim that they had stood by their affidavits submitted before Jain Banerjee Committee, specifying the role of the accused in the riots.

He tried to rebut the plea of the counsel for the accused that the cases in which the CBI was seeking their prosecution had already been decided, saying that the murder charges had earlier never been pressed against them.

Singh's contention was opposed by Kumar's counsel I U Khan and A K Sharma who submitted that a total of 60 people were killed in Sultanpuri during the riots that followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, but the CBI had named the leader only with regard to six deaths.

In his submission, CBI's Special Prosecutor Y K Saxena said that the accused could not refer to the alleged contradictions in the statement of witnesses at the stage of framing of charges as the option was available to them during the trial only.

Senior counsel H S Phoolka, arguing on behalf of the victims, claimed that Kumar had never been earlier tried for the criminal conspiracy with regard to killings in the riots as the Delhi police had filed closure report in different cases.

CBI is seeking prosecution of Kumar, former outer Delhi MP, and Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash for the murder of six persons at Sultanpuri area in north-west Delhi in the riots that took place in the aftermath of the assassination of the then prime minister.

If the court finds prima facie evidence against the accused, it would order framing of charges on July 1 thereby initiating the trial in the case and if it finds the evidence insufficient, it can discharge the accused.

PTI