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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Sajjan Kumar denies 'help' from govt, CBI in acquittal

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 06, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(6/5/2013) | Last Updated: 09:27 IST(7/5/2013)

Speaking for the first time since his acquittal five days ago in an anti-Sikh riots case, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Monday said neither the Centre nor the CBI intervened in the case to help him.

He said the court let him off only because there was no evidence against him and the key witnesses were untrustworthy.

The former Outer Delhi MP said, "It's strange that instead of respecting the court's judgment, baseless allegations are being levelled…there was no interference from any corner of the government."

A Sikh youth had even hurled a shoe at the judge after he let off Kumar giving him "benefit of doubt", saying witnesses were unreliable.

"The court has rightly considered all the facts of the case and material on record and gave a logical conclusion," Kumar's lawyer Anil Sharma said in a note issued on behalf of Kumar.

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"It is clear that the CBI used witnesses Jagdish Kaur, Jagsher Singh and Nirpreet Kaur to implicate Kumar. But the court unearthed the truth. The statements of these witnesses were unbelievable, having no iota of truth," said Sharma.

Contending that the CBI was determined to secure his conviction and was not soft on him as alleged by the protesters, the note said: "After the CBI filed the case, it did not repose confidence in any of the lawyers on its own panel as well as any lawyer from Delhi. The CBI and Akali leaders engaged a team comprising panel of top lawyers especially those from Punjab led by RS Cheema, DP Singh, Tarannum Cheema (daughter of Mr. Cheema) and other noted lawyers to fight this case and there was no interference from any corner of the government."

The note claimed that CBI officers themselves admitted before the court that none of the 23 persons whose kin were killed in the riots at Delhi Cantonment had named Kumar in their complaint to the police.

"Key witness and complainant Jagdish Kaur did not name Sajjan in her complaint to the police on January 20, 1985. She also did not name him in the affidavit to Ranganath Mishra Commission which probed the riots.

"This very affidavit resulted in providing big relief to Kumar. It is to be noted that this affidavit was produced and exhibited in the Court by CBI lawyer Cheema himself," the note stated.

The statement from the embattled Congress leader comes at a time when Sikh groups had been protesting in the Capital ever since he was acquitted in the case.

Protests have been held at Jantar Mantar, near Prime Minister's 7 Race Course residence and near Parliament.

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