1984 anti-Sikh riots case : SC asks CBI to apprise it of status of ongoing trial of Sajjan Kumar

The Supreme Court Monday asked the CBI to apprise it of the status of the ongoing trial in a case involving former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in connection with a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and listed his bail plea for hearing on April 15.

The CBI told a bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer that Kumar, who was a sitting MP in 1984, was the “kingpin” of the massacre of Sikhs in the national capital in 1984.

“This is a gruesome offence of massacre of Sikhs. He (Kumar) was the leader and he was the kingpin of this,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told the bench.

Mehta also told the bench it would be a “travesty of justice” if Kumar is enlarged on bail as he is facing trial in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case at Patiala House district court here.

The bench said that it would hear on April 15 bail plea of Kumar, who was convicted and sentenced to life term by the Delhi High Court in connection with a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1 and 2, 1984, and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

Anti-Sikh riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.

1984 riots: Sajjan Kumar instigated mob to kill Sikhs, victim reiterates before court

 A key prosecution witness in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case Thursday reiterated before a Delhi court that Congress leader Sajjan Kumar had instigated the mob to kill Sikhs.

Denying Kumar’s suggestion that she had not named him in her earlier statement given to the Delhi police, Cham Kaur told the court that she always named Kumar as the one who instigated the mob.

While cross-examining her, Kumar’s lawyer suggested, “You took names of all the rioters in your statement….But you never named Sajjan Kumar. You are taking his name now.”

To this, Kaur said, “I have always taken the name of Sajjan Kumar.”

Kaur had earlier told the court that she had seen Kumar allegedly addressing the crowd in national capital’s Sultanpuri area in 1984 that Sikhs had killed “our mother” and instigated the mob to kill them.

“On October 31, 1984 we were watching TV on the demise of Indira Gandhi. On November 1, 1984 when I stepped out to look for my goat, I saw accused Sajjan Kumar addressing the crowed and was saying ‘hamari ma maar di. Sardaro ko maar do’ (our mother was killed… kill the Sikhs),” Kaur had told District Judge Poonam A Bamba.

She further said that the next morning, they were attacked in which here son and her father were killed.

“My son Kapoor Singh and my father Sardarji Singh were pulled out of the hiding place on second floor, beaten badly and were thrown down from the roof,” she said, adding that she herself received injuries in the attack.

During the proceedings, Kaur had also identified Kumar, who was present in the court.

“I could recognise the accused Sajjan Kumar, as we used to visit him for getting help in making ration card, passport. We used to visit the accused for getting the papers stamped as he was the MP/MLA,” she said.

She further named other persons who were shot dead on the same date by the mob. The injured and the family members of victims were taken to the police station and relief camps by police and army respectively.

She told the court that she had named Kumar earlier also.

Before Kaur, another key prosecution witness Sheela Kaur had identified Kumar as the one who had instigated the mob in Sultanpuri.

The case was transferred from Karkardooma court to Patiala House court here by the Delhi High Court, which had directed the district judge to video record the proceedings at the cost of the accused.

Kumar and two other accused, Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash, had said that they were ready to bear the expenses of the videography of proceedings.

The three accused are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting in the case pertaining to killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri.

The proceedings in the case were earlier stayed after the victim and complainant Joginder Singh approached the high court seeking transfer of the case while alleging that evidence was not being properly recorded.

1984 anti-Sikh riots : Sajjan Kumar produced in Delhi court

Amid tight security, former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was on Monday produced before a Delhi court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case.

The court had on January 22 issued production warrant against the former Congress leader after Tihar Jail authorities, where he is lodged after conviction in another case related to the riots, could not produce him.

In the case before the trial court, three persons — Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash — are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting pertaining to the killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri.

The riots broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Delhi court issues production warrant against Sajjan Kumar

A Delhi court Tuesday issued production warrant for January 28 against former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

District Judge Poonam A Bamba issued production warrant against Kumar after Tihar Jail authorities, where he is lodged after conviction in another case related to the riots, could not produce him today.

In the case before the trial court, three persons — Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash — are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting pertaining to the killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri.

The riots broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

The witness, Cham Kaur, had on November 16 last year identified Kumar before the court as one who had allegedly instigated the mob to kill Sikhs.

Kaur had told the court that she had seen Kumar allegedly addressing a crowd in the national capital’s Sultanpuri area in 1984.

“On November 1, 1984 when I stepped out to look for my goat, I saw accused Sajjan Kumar addressing the crowd and saying ‘hamari ma maar di, Sardaro ko maar do’ (They killed our mother, kill the Sikhs),” Kaur had told the court.

She further said the next morning, her son and father were killed.

“My son Kapoor Singh and my father Sardarji Singh were pulled out of the hiding place on the second floor, beaten badly and thrown down from the roof,” Kaur had said, adding, she also received injuries in the attack.

Before Kaur, another key prosecution witness Sheela Kaur identified Kumar as one who had instigated a crowd in Sultanpuri.

The case was transferred from the Karkardooma court to the Patiala House court here by the Delhi High Court, which had directed the district judge to video record the proceedings at the cost of the accused.

Kumar and two other accused — Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash — had said that they were ready to bear the expenses of the videography of proceedings.

The proceedings in the case were earlier stayed after the complainant Joginder Singh approached the high court seeking transfer of the case while alleging that evidence was not being properly recorded.

The Delhi High Court had on December 17 convicted Kumar and sentenced him to imprisonment for “remainder of his natural life” in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, saying the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage” and aided by an “indifferent” law enforcement agency.

1984 anti-Sikh riots: SC notice to CBI on Sajjan Kumar’s appeal

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the CBI on former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s appeal against his conviction in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul also issued notice on Kumar’s bail plea

Kumar, 73, surrendered before a trial court here on December 31, 2018 to serve his sentence in accordance with the Delhi High Court’s December 17 judgement, which convicted and sent him to prison for the “remainder of his natural life”.

The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 and the burning down of a gurudwara

The riots broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards.

Kumar resigned from the Congress after his conviction in the case

The high court found Kumar guilty of criminal conspiracy and abetment in commission of crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony and defiling and destruction of a gurudwara

It also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by a trial court to five others — former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar

In its judgment, the high court noted that over 2,700 Sikhs were killed in the national capital during the 1984 riots, which it described as a “carnage of unbelievable proportions”

It said the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage” and aided by an “indifferent” law enforcement agency

The high court set aside the trial court’s 2010 verdict, which had acquitted Kumar in the case.

1984 riots case: Sajjan Kumar likely to surrender before court on Dec 31

Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is likely to surrender before a court here on December 31 to serve the life imprisonment awarded to him by the Delhi High Court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

“We will comply with the high court’s judgment,” his counsel Anil Kumar Sharma told PTI.

The counsel said Kumar’s appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict is not likely to be taken up for hearing before December 31.

The 73-year-old former Congress leader was sentenced to life for the “remainder of his natural life” by the Delhi High Court on December 17 in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The case relates to killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar part-I area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar part II. Riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.

The high court had on December 21 rejected Kumar’s plea seeking extension till January 30 to surrender.

The former Congress leader had sought more time to surrender, saying he had to settle the family affairs related to his children and property and also needs time to file appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court verdict.

Sharma said they have removed the objections in their appeal filed in the apex court but since the court was on vacation till January 1, it was not likely to be taken up for hearing by December 31 and also the chances of mentioning for urgent listing of the appeal was not there.

The Supreme Court will open on January 2 after the winter break.

“We have removed the objections and the appeal in the apex court has been numbered. Presently, there are no benches in the Supreme Court. Even if we mention the matter for urgent hearing, the registrar will decide whether it will be heard by the bench. No time is left now,” Kumar’s counsel said.

He said they are yet to engage a senior counsel who would represent Kumar before the apex court.

The former Congress leader had on December 22 approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s judgment.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, who is representing the riots victims, had earlier said that they had already filed a caveat in the apex court to pre-empt any ex-parte hearing in favour of Kumar.

The high court had set aside the trial court’s 2010 verdict which had acquitted Kumar in the case. The six accused, including Kumar who was a Member of Parliament at that time, were sent to be tried in 2010.

The high court had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by the trial court to the other five — former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

All six, including Kumar, were directed by the high court to surrender by December 31, and not leave Delhi in the mean time.

1984 riots accused Sajjan Kumar confessed to presence at incident site.

 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.

Delhi High Court upholds order granting anticipatory bail to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in two anti-Sikh riot cases of 1984.

The Delhi High Court today upheld a trial court order granting anticipatory bail to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in two anti-Sikh riot cases of 1984.

Justice Anu Malhotra dismissed the plea by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, seeking to cancel the anticipatory bail of Kumar, saying that as per the records, Kumar was available throughout the investigation.

The available records indicate that pursuant of the orders (of the trial court), Sajjan Kumar has made himself available for investigation and it has been submitted on his behalf that he shall continue to do, the court said.

It also said that the SIT was not able to make out any ground for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Kumar.

On consideration of the totality of circumstances put forth, it is held that presently there are no grounds made out by the petitioner (SIT) for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Kumar on December 21, 2016, the bench added.

The high court had on December 12 reserved its order on the SIT s plea seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail.The SIT had contended that the trial court order granting anticipatory bail to Kumar was perverse and overwhelming circumstances were ignored.

The Congress leader was granted anticipatory bail by a trial court on December 21, 2016 in two cases of killing of three Sikhs during the riots which had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Kumar had submitted that his name was never taken earlier and it was a case of fresh allegations coming up after 32 years which was not allowed.

There two cases filed against Kumar fall in the jurisdictions of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in West Delhi.

The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on November 1, 1984 and in the other, where another Sikh, Gurcharan Singh, was burnt on November 2, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri Police Station. Gurcharan, who was half burnt, had remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He died three years ago.

The SIT had been constituted by the Union Home Ministry in February 2015 to reinvestigate ‘serious cases’ filed in Delhi relating to riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Sajjan should not have been given anticipatory bail: SIT to Delhi HC

Sajjan should not have been given anticipatory bail: SIT to Delhi HC
Sajjan should not have been given anticipatory bail: SIT to Delhi HC

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar should not have been granted anticipatory bail by a trial court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, the Delhi High Court was today told by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the SIT which is probing the charges against him, told Justice Anu Malhotra that witnesses were not coming forward as the Congress leader was not in custody.

Kumar was granted anticipatory bail by a trial court on December 21 last year in a case of killing of three Sikhs during the riots which had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The ASG argued before the high court that the trial court had erred in granting the relief to the former MP on the ground of lapse of time.

Jain said the witnesses and their families as well as the kin of the victims of the riots had fled to Punjab fearing for their lives and it was only now that they were coming forward.

He said that witnesses would be required to be confronted with Kumar and if he was out of custody, the witnesses would not come forward and gave the example of one such person whose statement was recorded before a court in Chandigarh.

Jain said that truth will remain as such even with the passage of time. He also denied that the reopening of the case was politically motivated.

There are two cases filed against Kumar falling in the jurisdiction of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in West Delhi.

The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on November 1, 1984 and in the other, where another Sikh, Gurcharan Singh, was burnt on November 2, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri Police Station. Gurcharan, who was half burnt, had remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He died three years ago.

( Source – PTI )

1984 riots case: SIT moves HC for cancellation of bail to Sajjan Kumar

1984 riots case: SIT moves HC for cancellation of bail to Sajjan Kumar
1984 riots case: SIT moves HC for cancellation of bail to Sajjan Kumar

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, today moved the Delhi High Court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted by the trial court to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case of killing of three Sikhs.

Justice S P Garg, before whom the plea came up for hearing, asked SIT how the trial court order is illegal and said the respondent is facing trial in other matters also then how is it possible that he could be present at all spots.

“Where is the illegality in the trial court’s order. 32 years have passed and now you (SIT) are seeking to interrogate him (Kumar) in the matter pertaining to the incident. Prior to November 2016 there was no complaint against him by the present complainant. Suddenly, the complainant has grievances against him (Kumar),” the court observed.

It was hearing a plea by SIT, which came in appeal against the trial court’s December 21 last year order granting anticipatory bail to Kumar.

It had asked Kumar to cooperate in the probe and not to influence any witness related to the case.

While granting relief to the former MP on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of the like amount, the trial court had also said that he will not leave the country without the court’s permission.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for SIT, submitted before the bench that the cases filed against Kumar falling in jurisdiction of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in west Delhi, were lodged after delay of over 30 years as the complaintant was “scared” to name the accused due to his “powerful” position.

The ASG submitted that since his name has cropped up during the investigation in the case, he needs to be interrogated and his custody is also necessary as he has to be confronted with the evidence in the matter.

He said that as per complainant Harvinder Singh, whose counsel also sought cancellation of Kumar’s bail, on the fateful day at around 11 AM, the accused was seen leading a mob.

To this, the court asked the ASG, apart from the complainant’s affidavit on the basis of which the cases were lodged, does he have anything more to establish that the respondent here was present at the spot.

“Do you (SIT) have anything more to establish about his alleged involvement. We are not disputing the incident but his involvement is there or not is a question,” it said.

It later asked the ASG to produce records relating to the other case he is allegedly involved in and for which he has or is facing trial.

( Source – PTI )