Sajjan Kr gets anticipatory bail in a 1984 riots case

Sajjan Kr gets anticipatory bail in a 1984 riots case
Sajjan Kr gets anticipatory bail in a 1984 riots case

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was today granted anticipatory bail in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a Delhi court which directed him to cooperate in the probe and not influence witnesses.

Additional Session Judge Vikas Dhull, while granting relief to the former MP on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of the like amount, also ordered that he will not leave the country without the court’s permission.

The court had reserved its order yesterday after hearing the arguments of counsel for both the parties in 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 a Sikh Gurcharan Singh was burnt on November 2, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri Police Station.

As per the complaint, Gurcharan, who was half burnt, remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He died three years ago.

Seeking anticipatory bail for Kumar, his counsel had argued that his name had appeared in this case after 32 years and the case was politically motivated.

Opposing the plea, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the complainants, had argued that the allegations against Kumar were very serious and he was a very influential person.

The prosecutor, appearing for SIT, had also said that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation and his custodial interrogation was required.

The court was told that Kumar was summoned twice by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) but he had appeared only once.

( Source – PTI )

Anti-Sikh riots case: Sajjan Kumar opposes witness’s plea

sajjanCongress leader Sajjan Kumar and three others, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Wednesday opposed the plea of a witness in a court here.

Testifying as a prosecution witness in the case, Vishwendra Singh, the then deputy secretary (home) of the Delhi government and now private secretary to the Lt. Governor, moved a plea before District Judge JR Aryan, seeking exemption from producing the complete file related to grant of sanction to prosecute the Congress leader.

Kumar opposed the plea saying the prosecution cannot withhold documents as the court has to see whether sanction granted by government to prosecute the accused was valid or not.

The court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file its response, if any, and posted the matter for Feb 12 for orders on the issue of granting privilege to the witness for not producing the complete file.

Singh is a formal prosecution witness, who has been brought by the CBI to prove that sanction was given to prosecute Sajjan Kumar and other accused under section 153A (causing disharmony between different communities) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sanction for prosecution of accused charged under section 153A is mandatory.

Sajjan Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash are facing trial in connection with the killing of a man in Sultanpuri area of the capital in the riots that took place after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. The court had earlier framed various charges, including murder and rioting against them.

(Source: IANS)

Life term for three, 2 escape with 3-year jailterm in ’84 riots case

Three persons were today awarded life imprisonment in a 29-year-old 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a Delhi court which said the offences were grave as the victims of a particular community had been targeted and the acts of the convicts were most gruesome in nature.

District Judge J R Aryan gave life term to ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal for murder and rioting in the case in which senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted on April 30, which CBI had reportedly said would challenge in the Delhi High Court.

The court rejected CBI’s plea for death sentence to Balwan, Lal and Bhagmal, saying their offence does not come under the category of rarest of rare warranting capital punishment.

“They had no special or personal animosity towards anyone or the deceased individually. The assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had blindfolded those youths and unfortunately, there was no leadership to bridle the mob frenzy unleashed with all cruelty,” it said.

Two other convicts, ex-MLA Mahinder Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were awarded three-year imprisonment and the court rejected their plea to release them on probation.

Kumar was acquitted by the court which held that he deserved “benefit of doubt” since one of the victims and key witness Jagdish Kaur did not name him as an accused in her statement recorded by the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.

In his ten-page order on sentence, the court said “there cannot be two opinions that offences committed in this case were grave where victims of a particular community had been targeted for killing and destroying their properties.

“This court has already taken the facts into consideration that there were 341 killings in the area of police station Delhi Cantt of this case itself.”

While holding that the crime doesn’t fall in the rarest of rare category warranting extreme punishment, the judge said “what the accused have done were no doubt acts of the most gruesome nature.

“But we bear in mind that they were in rampage and they ran berserk, unguided by a sense or reason and triggered only by a demented psyche,” he said.

The court also cited a Supreme judgement in another anti-Sikh riots case in which the death sentence awarded to the convicts by the trial court and upheld by the Delhi High Court was commuted to life imprisonment by the apex court.

“In a case in which four sons of a helpless woman were ‘roasted to death in front of her eyes’ on November 2, 1984 at Trilokpuri locality here, the convict was sentenced to death and it was affirmed by the Delhi High Court but the Supreme Court had commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment,” ASJ Aryan said.

The judge also rejected the plea of Yadav and Kishan Khokkar for granting them benefit of probation, as it said, “it was not warranted as this was a case of widespread rioting and violence to the extent of killing and destroying the properties of the victims.

On defence counsel’s argument on lapse of time, the judge said “the counsel tried to impress upon this court that 29 years have lapsed since the incident of this crime had occurred. To my mind, this should not be a mitigating circumstance and seriousness and gravity of the offence does not get diluted by that factor.”

“These two accused are kept at par with other three accused (held guilty of murder) as far as sentence for their conviction under section 147 (rioting) and 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons) IPC is concerned,” the judge said.

Earlier in the day, while arguing on the quantum of sentence, CBI prosecutor R S Cheema submitted before the court “the evidence showed that the scale of crime was so serious that adult male Sikhs were killed after being searched and chased by the mob.

“Complainant Jagdish Kaur’s son Gurpreet Singh, 18, ran for his life when he was located by the mob, captured, assaulted and burnt him,” he said.

The case, in which the five persons were held guilty, relates to the death of five Sikhs – Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh – by the mob in Raj Nagar area in Delhi Cantonment. They were members of the same family.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 on each of the five convicts.

Yadav and Kishan Kokkar were granted bail by the court.

High security arrangements had been made in and around and inside the court complex and the media was also barred from entering the courtroom.

Seeking death penalty for Balwan Khokkar, CBI said “such a person leading the mob and then assuming political power indicated the circumstances as to how the society was in need of protection from such kinds of don.”

Regarding Capt Bhagmal, CBI said “the accused was serving as a officer in Navy and thus being the member of the armed force, he was supposed to protect the country but he became a menace to the society and all these accused indulged in brutal killings.”

At this, Bhagmal started narrating the sequence of events to the court and said he had rather helped the victims during the riots.

He was, however, intervened by the judge who said “you have already been convicted and we have crossed this stage, so there is no point of addressing or submitting these things now. You can state all this before the superior courts.”



Sikh protests at 10 Janpath, Congress office

On the second day of protests, Sikh groups shouted slogans outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence and the Congress office Thursday, over the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Burning effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sajjan Kumar, different Sikh groups gathered outside Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence.

“Over a thousand protesters marched towards Sonia Gandhi’s residence, breaking two barricades. But they were blocked by the policemen. Similar scenes were witnessed at 24 Akbar Road (the Congress office).”

A traffic police officer told IANS that several roads in central Delhi had been blocked  to prevent angry protesters from reaching the Congress office and the residence of Sonia Gandhi. Among the roads closed to traffic and pedestrians were Akbar Road, Motilal Nehru Marg, Krishna Menon Marg, Mansingh Road, Maulana Azad Road and Janpath.

Police barricades, however, failed to deter protesters who stood as close as they could to the places they wished to reach, shouting slogans.

On Wednesday, protesters had blocked busy roads in the national capital. Metro services were also disrupted by the protests for a few hours.

The Sikh groups are angry at the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar by a city court Tuesday in a case related to the killing of five people in the Delhi Cantonment area during violence against Sikhs following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi Oct 31, 1984.

The court convicted five others in the same case.

Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal comes almost three decades after an estimated 3,000 Sikhs were killed in three days of riots in India’s capital and elsewhere.



Police silent during 1984 riots, serious lapse: court

A court in New Delhi told that the silence of Delhi Police during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots was a “serious lapse” on its part and it appeared to be “privy” in the incidents of rioting.
District and Sessions Judge J R Aryan said that as per the report of Justice G T Nanavati Commission, 341 persons were killed in Delhi Cantonment area here during the riots. In the case relating to it, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been acquitted.

But, as per the record of Palam Colony police station, “not a single incident of killing was recorded by the police”, the court noted.

“From the evidence and material available in this case,…these facts and circumstances do suggest that law supervising and enforcing machinery i.e.(Delhi) police maintained complete silence during those two days i.e. November 1 and 2, 1984,” the court, in its judgement, said.

“Court can take judicial notice of the fact available from Justice Nanavati Commission report that there were as many 341 killings in police station Delhi Cantt. area itself and the present case concerning killing of five persons was in the area of Rajnagar, Palam colony, a part of police station Delhi Cantt.

“It has come in evidence from document, the DDR, maintained at police station Palam Colony, that not a single incident of any killing or any property destroyed was recorded by the police,” it said.

During the arguments, CBI had contended there was a conspiracy of “terrifying proportion” between Kumar and the Delhi Police during the riots.

The agency had said the police had kept its “eyes closed” to the widespread violence.
The court also agreed with the arguments of CBI that “police appeared to be privy in the incidents of rioting may be by maintaining their status as silent spectator”.

The court said the evidence showed there was an incident in which some Sikhs had gathered to guard their place of worship, Gurudwara Raj Nagar, and succeeded in deterring the mob.

But as they were armed, police arrived and disarmed the Sikhs of their ‘kirpans’ and soon thereafter the mob arrived again, according to it.

“There appears no reason to not to believe and accept the testimony of prosecution witness 7 Joginder Singh on that point and that reflects a serious lapse of law enforcement duty of the police,” the court said.

It also agreed with the contention of CBI that the situation had “really disturbed the conscience of civilized society as if killings of innocent persons by mobsters was to be accepted by the victims only by bargaining monetary relief. It does reflect a complete no action on the part of the police”.

Aggrieved with the court’s judgement, senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing the riot victims, said the charges of conniving with unnamed police officers and killing Sikhs was framed against the accused and CBI’s probe also showed the police did not record the statements of witnesses naming Kumar.

“This being the situation, it was highly erroneous for the trial court to have ignored this aspect. While considering the role of Sajjan Kumar, unfortunately the trial court did not consider the aspect that the investigation of CBI showed that Jagdish Kaur’s statement of November3, 1984, has been removed from the records by the Delhi Police.

“The trial court has also failed to consider that the investigation of CBI had revealed that the Delhi Police was shielding Sajjan Kumar,” the counsel said, adding he would file an appeal against this judgement in a superior court.

Anti-Sikh riots case: HC verdict on Sajjan’s plea tomorrow

On a plea of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar against a trial court order framing charges against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case related to the killings of six persons the Delhi High court will pronounce its verdict.

Justice Suresh Kait, who had reserved the order in December last year, will pronounce the verdict at 10.30 am tomorrow.

Besides the Congress leader, co-accused Ved Prakash Pial alias Vedu Pradhan and Brahmanand Gupta had also moved the high court against framing of charges against them in the case.

Complainant Sheela Kaur had filed a cross-appeal in the high court seeking to invoke the charges of criminal conspiracy against Kumar and other four accused in the case.

Earlier in July 2010, a lower court had framed charges against Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with the case in which six persons were killed in Sultanpuri in anti-Sikhs riots that erupted in Delhi and elsewhere after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Besides charges of murder and rioting, the court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.

The CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others in January, 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice GT Nanavati Commission which probed the sequence of events leading to the riots.

Anti-Sikh riot: Sajjan Kumar gets relief

The Supreme Court today stayed the trial court proceedings against senior Congress leader Mr Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case.

 A Bench of Mr Justice P Sathasivam and Mr Justice BS Chauhan directed the lower court not to proceed with the case till 27 July when Delhi High Court is likely to take up Mr Kumar’s plea for allowing him to cross-examine the witnesses whose statements before various commissions are being used by the CBI against him in anti-Sikh riot case.

 The SC passed the order on former MP Mr Kumar’s appeal challenging the High Court’s order which had refused to stay the trial against him in anti-Sikh riot case. The CBI vehemently opposed Mr Kumar’s appeal and alleged that it was a delaying tactics on his part.

 The Bench, however, was not satisfied with the agency’s plea and stayed the proceedings. The Bench also asked the HC to hear Mr Kumar’s petition expeditiously. The trial court was scheduled to commence hearing from tomorrow the final arguments on the part of accused, starting with Mr Kumar.

 Mr Kumar has appealed in the HC against the trial court order which had refused to allow him to use a riot victim’s statements to the various judicial commissions, including G T Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra Commissions, in the past to defend himself.

 He said as many of the witnesses have changed their testimonies made before the commissions, he be allowed to cross-examine them with regard to those statements. Mr Kumar’s plea was earlier dismissed by the trial court which had said the witness Ms Jagdish Kaur’s statements to the judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose, including that for discrediting her testimony or to impeach her.

Supreme Court rejects Sajjan Kumar’s plea

The Supreme Court Monday rejected Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s appeal seeking the quashing of the framing of charges against him in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The apex court bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Anil R. Dave, however, said the trial court would remain uninfluenced by the adverse observation made by the Delhi High Court while rejecting the similar plea by Sajjan Kumar.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Sathasivam said that the trial judge was free to analyse, appreciate and evaluate the material placed before him. It can’t be concluded that the framing of charges by the trial judge is bad or an abuse of the process of law or based on no material, the judgement said.

Since the case pertains to 1984, the judgement said that the trial court would make sincere efforts for an early conclusion of the trial. The court said that it expected both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Sajjan Kumar to aid the court in this regard.

Sajjan Kumar has been named the main accused in a case in which Jagdish Kaur of Palam Colony (near Delhi Cantonment) lost her husband and son during rioting and arson by mobs in the aftermath of prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on Oct 31, 1984.

High court adjourns hearing on Sajjan Kumar’s plea

The Delhi High Court Thursday adjourned the hearing on a revision petition filed by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar challenging the framing of murder charge against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case filed in west Delhi’s Sultanpuri.

However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its reply in the matter. The case has been listed for hearing Oct 25.

The Congress leader has been charged with murder, rioting and various other penal provisions for incidents that allegedly led to the killing of six people in Sultanpuri.

Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in two cases – in which he has been accused of inciting mobs against Sikhs in Sultanpuri and Delhi Cantonment areas after then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated Oct 31, 1984.

A trial court had in May this year framed charges under penal provisions for murder, dacoity, mischief and promoting enmity between different communities, paving the way for the trial of Sajjan Kumar and five others in the Sultanpuri case.

The CBI filed two chargesheets against Sajjan Kumar and others Jan 13 in both the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.

No relief to Sajjan Kumar from high court

The Delhi High Court Friday declined to stay criminal proceedings for murder and other charges to be initiated against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar over the killing of six people during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Sajjan Kumar moved the high court, challenging the charges framed against him by the trial court July 1 in a case related to riots in Sultanpuri area here. The former MP had been charged with murder, rioting and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice A.K. Pathak declined the plea of the veteran politician, who sought a stay on the trial till his petition challenging the framing of charges is decided by the court.

Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in two cases – in which he has been accused of inciting mobs against Sikhs in Sultanpuri and Delhi Cantonment areas after then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated Oct 31, 1984.

The trial court had in May this year framed charges under sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC paving the way for trial of Sajjan Kumar and five others.

The case relates to killing of six people in Sultanpuri in north-west Delhi Oct 31, 1984. Besides Sajjan Kumar, the court framed charges against Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also charged Sajjan Kumar with provoking people against the Sikh community leading to the killing of five people in Delhi Cantonment.

Besides Sajjan Kumar, the others accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

In this particular case, the apex court has stayed the proceedings against the former MP and issued notice to the CBI on Sajjan Kumar’s appeal challenging his prosecution.

The CBI had filed two chargesheets against Sajjan Kumar and others Jan 13 on the recommendation of Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission, which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.