iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

HT correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 22, 2013
The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on an appeal filed by the CBI challenging his acquittal in an anti-Sikh riots case related to the killing of five persons in the Delhi Cantonment area. A bench headed by Justice GS Sistani on Monday asked the former Outer Delhi MP to file his response to the petition and fixed the matter for further hearing on August 27.

Besides the CBI, family members of the victims, Jagdish and Nirpreet Kaur, had also challenged the trial court order in the case and their plea would be taken up on the same day by the bench.

A lower court had on May 30 let off Kumar in the 29-year-old case, saying he deserved the "benefit of doubt" as key witness Jagdish Kaur did not name him as an accused in her statement given to the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.

"It was a matter of fact that when eye witness and complainant Jagdish Kaur had submitted her affidavit before Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission in 1985, she had not mentioned Sajjan Kumar in any manner though the other accused had been named," it had said.

The trial court, however, had held five others guilty in the case and awarded varying jail terms for being part of the mob that killed the Sikhs. Ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal were given life terms, while the remaining two, former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar, were given three-year jail terms for their lesser roles.

The case against Kumar and others was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice GT Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the others accused in January 2010.