The Delhi High Court on Monday convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for conspiracy to commit murder in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was convicted by a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.
Asking him to surrender by December 31, the HC said that Kumar will remain in jail for the remainder of his life. The conviction of five others -- former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal, former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar -- were also upheld by the HC.
Here are the key observations made by the HC in the case:
- It was an extraordinary case where it was going to be impossible to proceed against Sajjan Kumar in normal scheme of things as there appeared to be ongoing large-scale efforts to suppress cases against him by not even recording them.
- Even if they (the cases) were registered, they weren't probed properly and investigations which saw any progress weren't carried to logical end of a chargesheet actually being filed. Even defence doesn't dispute that as far as FIR is concerned, a closure report had been prepared.
- What happened in the aftermath of the assassination of the then PM (Indira Gandhi) was a carnage of unbelievable proportions in which over 2,700 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone. Law and order clearly broke down and it was literally a free for all situation. Aftershocks of that still being felt.
- The mass killings of Sikhs between 1-4 November 1984 in Delhi and the rest of the country, engineered by political actors with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies, answer the description of "crimes against humanity".
- Sajjan Kumar shall not from this moment till his surrender (on December 31) leave the NCT of Delhi and shall immediately provide to the CBI the address and mobile number(s) where he can be contacted.