The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the CBI and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on a petition challenging the latter's acquittal in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
A bench of justice GS Sistani and justice GP Mittal sought their response by August 27.
The petition, filed by the members of the victims' family, pertains to acquittal of Kumar in a case of murder of five members of a family in Delhi Cantonment area. The petitioners contended that the trial court had failed to appreciate the legally admissible evidence in its verdict.
Petitioners 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. Kumar's acquittal had triggered widespread protests by the Sikh community.
The trial court 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 the key witnesses had said enough to prove that Kumar had "engineered" the murders. The appeal said the court had in its judgment slammed 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 police did not record the statements of witnesses naming Kumar. The 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," said Phoolka