The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday moved the Delhi High Court against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The case relates to the killing of five members of a family in Delhi Cantonment area.
A lower court had on May 30 had let off Kumar in the 29-year-old case, saying that he deserved the ‘benefit of doubt’ as key witness Jagdish Kaur had not named him as an accused in her statement given to the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.
The probe agency, in its appeal before the high court, said that the trial court erred in acquitting Sajjan as it was he who had instigated the mob during the riots.
The victims’ family has already filed an appeal on which the high court sought the response from the CBI and Kumar by August 27. The acquittal had triggered widespread protests from the Sikh community.
“It was a matter of fact that when eyewitness and complainant Jagdish Kaur had submitted her affidavit before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission in 1985, she had not mentioned the name of Sajjan Kumar in any manner though the other accused had been named,” the lower court had said in its verdict.
The lower court, however, had held five others guilty in the case and awarded varying jail terms for being part of the mob that killed Sikhs. While ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal were given life term, rest two former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were given three years’ jail term for their roles.