The Delhi High Court today sought a reply from Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on a letter written to it alleging that the accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case have confessed to being present at the spot where the violent incidents had occurred.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra also directed the CBI to file its stand on the letter, purportedly written by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) seeking action against the accused for their alleged involvement in the crime.
As per Kumar’s advocate Anil Sharma, a letter and CDs of DSGMC were tagged to the file of one of the convicts in a case relating to the murder of five members of a family in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty in the case. Kumar was acquitted in the case by the trial court.
The letter and the CDs were placed before the bench during the hearing of the CBI’s appeal against Kumar’s acquittal in the murder of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar area.
It, however, separated the DSGMC letter and CDs and turned it into a PIL on which it issued notice to the CBI and the Congress leader and sought their responses before the next date of hearing, April 12.
Kumar’s lawyer opposed the notice and the complaint and said they should be given the same. He also questioned its maintainability.
The bench, however, said that all the parties should reply to it and the court will accordingly decide at an appropriate stage, whether the letter and CDs would be treated as an evidence in the appeals pending consideration before it. It also said that a copy of the letter and CDs would be provided to all the parties in the PIL.
The trial court had awarded life term in May 2013 to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal and three-year jail term to two others -former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar. The convicts have challenged their conviction and jails terms awarded by the trial court.
The CBI too has filed an appeal seeking enhancement of sentence of the convicts and the acquittal of Kumar, alleging that all of them were engaged in “a planned communal riot” and “religious cleansing”.
The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notice to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav, in five other 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in which they had been acquitted by the trial court.
The accused, who were acquitted of the charges, were asked why should the court not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they faced allegations of “horrifying crimes against humanity”.
The bench had issued notice on the complaints filed regarding the violent incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in Delhi Cantonment area.