Sajjan Kumar acquitted in 1984 riots case; shoe thrown at judge
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In a big relief to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, a special CBI court in Karkardoma on Tuesday acquitted him of all charges leveled against him in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
The case pertains to violence in the Delhi Cantonment area. The Congress leader was charged with murder, robbery, rioting, inciting violence, and damaging public property in that case.
The verdict left various Sikh groups in a state of anguish and anger and triggered sharp protests outside the district court.
So deep was the resentment over Kumar's acquittal that a shoe was thrown at District Judge JR Aryan after he pronounced his verdict.
Judge Aryan, however, convicted all the five accused in the case.
District Judge JR Aryan had reserved the verdict on the case on April 16, after counsels for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the six accused concluded their final arguments in the case.
This is one of the three cases registered against the former Congress MP from Delhi. The five others who are facing trial for their alleged role in the killings are - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal. They all are accused of instigating a mob to attack and kill the Sikhs.
The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.
In its concluding arguments last week, the CBI told the court that there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during riots.
Kumar, a former MP from Outer Delhi, is also accused of instigating the mob during the riots in Sultanpuri area. Six people were killed in the violence there.
The Congress leader and other co-accused Ved Prakash Pial alias Vedu Pradhan and Brahmanand Gupta had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court order of framing charges against them in the Sultanpuri case.
The Delhi High Court deferred its decision yesterday.
The High Court said that "further hearing is required" on Kumar's plea and posted the matter for hearing on May 15. The court had reserved the order against him in December last year.
Apart from murder and rioting, a lower court in 2010 charged Kumar and others for spreading enmity between two communities in the Sultanpuri case.
In 2010, the Supreme Court refused to quash the charges against Kumar and said the trial would continue against him. It had also pulled up the CBI for failing to conclude its arguments and taking too much time.
Earlier this month, a Delhi court reopened an anti-Sikh riots case against another Congress leader Jagdish Tytler. He is accused of inciting a mob that killed three men during the riots.
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots broke out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.