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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

1984 riot: Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal challenged

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 06, 2013
First Published: 19:52 IST(6/7/2013) | Last Updated: 11:50 IST(7/7/2013)

The kin of victims of the 1984 anti-sikh riots moved the Delhi High Court on Saturday challenging the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar by a trial court on April 30, in a case where five member of a family were murdered in the Delhi Cantonment area.

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They said the trial court while acquitting Kumar, former outer Delhi MP, on April 30 had “failed to appreciate evidence furnished by key witneses”.

The CBI, which probed the case has not yet decided on filing an appeal.

Jagdish Kaur who lost her husband, son and three cousins and Nirpreet Kaur who lost her father in the riots, also sought compensation for the deaths. Sajjan’s acquittal had triggered widespread protests by the Sikh community.

The trial judge had said Kumar deserved to get “benefit of doubt” as key witnesses were untrustworthy and inconsistent in their versions.

The court had said Kaur who told the court that she saw Kumar leading a mob had not stated this fact before the police after the riots or the Rangnath panel which probed the riots.

Filing the appeal, their lawyer HS Phoolka said the trial judge ignored the fact that key witnesses had said enough to prove that Kumar had “engineered” the murders.

The appeal said the court had in its judgmentslammed the police for its silence, inaction like refusal to register FIRs and referred to collusion by the police, but did not consider it while deciding Kumar’s case.

“CBI’s probe showed that the police did not record the statements of witnesses naming Kumar. CBI also found that Jagdish Kaur’s statement of November 3, 1984, naming Kumar had been removed from the records by the Delhi Police. It was highly erroneous for the trial court to have ignored this aspect,” Phoolka said.

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