1984 riots: ‘Acquittal due to lack of witness’

New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday told a Delhi court, hearing a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case involving senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, that no eye witness was produced in the five other carnage cases by the police, which resulted in the acquittal of the persons who were accused in those cases.

Advancing final arguments before District Judge JR Aryan, CBI prosecutor and senior advocate RS Cheema said that in the trial of five other separate 1984 riot cases, the Delhi police had not produced any eye witness in the court and only the police officials were examined, which resulted into acquittal.

The prosecutor said police had clubbed five other cases in the FIR registered in the present case in which Sajjan Kumar and five others are facing trial for allegedly instigating a mob to kill Sikhs in Delhi cantonment area in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Reading out the judgements of the other 1984 riot cases in which accused were acquitted, Cheema said that during the trial of those cases, no victim was produced in the court and even the judges, adjudicating them, had asked police why it had clubbed these cases.

The prosecutor told the court that initially the police had not made Sajjan Kumar an accused in the case and he was named in the case in 2005 after CBI took over the investigation.

He said there was no sign and stamp on the statements of witnesses recorded by the police so that "the officials could add or subtract to it."

CBI's arguments remained inconclusive and would continue on April 9, the next date of hearing.

Sajjan Kumar and other five accused Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal, Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokkar and Captain Bhagmal are facing trial for allegedly instigating the mob to kill the Sikhs during the 1984 riots.

Earlier, the CBI prosecutor had accused the Delhi Police for fabricating and destroying the case records.

He had argued that as per CBI's investigation, witness Jagdish Kaur had recorded a statement before the police on November 3, 1984, where she had named several persons, including Sajjan Kumar and two other accused in the case, but that deposition was destroyed and missing from the police records.

Showing direct evidence against the accused, he had said the statements of witnesses showed the presence of Sajjan Kumar and other accused during riots.

He argued the police had acted in a pre-planned manner during the riots and kept its "eyes closed" to the violence.

The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice GT Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.

The trial court had in May, 2010, framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC.

Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in three separate cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against the Sikh community during the riots.