HC dismisses Sajjan Kumar’s plea to transfer ’84 riots case

sajjan-kumarDelhi High Court today dismissed the pleas of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others for transfer of their case relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots before another bench, saying these were “baseless and misconceived” and an “abuse of law”.

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and P S Teji also rejected their plea alleging bias by one member of the division bench which is hearing the matter, saying the contentions raised amounted to contempt of court but it was not initiating any action as it would delay the proceedings.

“The present applications are baseless, malafide and misconcieved. We find no merit and hence the same are dismissed,” the bench said, adding “it is abuse of law”.

Kumar and others had alleged in their applications that Justice Teji should not hear the matter as he had heard the case as a trial court judge earlier.

Countering their submissions, CBI had said that Justice Teji had never conducted trial proceedings in the case but only heard the bail plea when he was a trial court judge, as being a sessions judge then, he was handling bail matters.

The bench today said that none of the life convicts in the case joined the applicants alleging bias by any member of the bench and hence there was “no apprehension of injustice”.

The applications are “just a delaying tactics. Therefore we cannot allow this because the incident is of 1984”, it said.

The bench said the contentions raised in the petitions tantamounted to contempt of court, but it was not initiating such proceedings against Kumar and others so that the matter is not further delayed.

The bench, in its order, said they were also refraining from imposing

fine on the petitioners for filing such baseless applications and there was no reasonable apprehension of bias as expressed by them.

Besides Kumar, former MLA Mahender Yadav, who was handed a three-year jail term in the matter and is currently on bail, had alleged that “Justice Teji was exercising keen interest in the matter” and should recuse himself from hearing these appeals.

Convict Kishan Khokkar, who was sentenced to three years in jail and is on bail, had also filed a similar application.

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