Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and two others, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, on Tuesday told a Delhi court that they are ready to bear the expenses of the video recording of the proceedings in the matter.
The trio, while appearing before district judge Amar Nath to whom the case has been transferred by the Delhi high court from the Karkardooma court, said they were giving an undertaking that they would bear the cost of video recording of the proceedings of the case to be conducted here.
“If you are ready to bear the expenses, I am ready to pass an order on it,” the judge said, adding that a mechanism would be drawn to videograph the proceedings.
“Put up the matter for checking the working of the system (video recording) on January 29, 2016,” the court said, adding that the witness need not be summoned for that day.
While transferring the case to the Patiala House court, the high court had directed the district judge to video record the proceedings at the cost of the accused. During the hearing, the judge also said the video recording system was not available in his court and he had to consult the computer branch for devising such a facility.
Advocate IU Khan, appearing for Sajjan Kumar, submitted that the video recording of proceedings was requested to safeguard the parties from any prejudice.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) prosecutor DP Singh and senior advocate HS Phoolka, who represents riot victims, suggested that the company who was already providing video recording service in the court could be hired for this case as it would be a trusted firm.
Sajjan Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting in the case of killing of Surjit Singh in Delhi’s Sultanpuri area. During the hearing, the three accused were present in the court.
The proceedings in the case were earlier stayed after the victim and complainant Joginder Singh had approached the high court seeking transfer of the case to another court alleging that the evidence was not being properly recorded.
While transferring the case, the high court had made it clear that the transfer was “warranted to protect and uphold the dignity of the judicial system and to promote the faith of citizens in courts of law”.
The trial court had in July 2010 framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Sajjan Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with Surjit’s killing in the riots. Accused Khushal Singh and Peeriya have since died.
The trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
The case was currently at the stage of recording of prosecution evidence and deposition of fifth witness Sheela Kaur was being recorded. Deposing as a prosecution witness, Kaur had on September 10 told the trial court that she had seen Kumar allegedly addressing the crowd and instigating the mob to kill them.