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In a setback to the trial of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed trial proceedings against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who faces murder and other charges for his alleged involvement in the riots in which 3,000 people were killed.

A bench of justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan issued notice to the CBI on Kumar’s appeal challenging the ongoing trial at district court in Delhi.

The Delhi High Court on July 19 refused to quash various charges, including that of murder against him, saying the delay in prosecution has apparently benefited him. Later, at the end of the board, Advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for some of the victims, appealed the bench to withdraw the order as it was granted ex-parte stay without hearing the investigating agency.

He said that Friday was the 17th day of the cross examination and a witness was deposing before the sessions court. The bench said that stay would remain in force till the next date of hearing on August 21. Kumar, a former MP, is facing prosecution in two cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against Sikhs.

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