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Delhi HC seeks CBI reply on 1984 anti-Sikh riots case convict’s bail plea

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the CBI’s response on a bail plea of a convict serving life sentence in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

india Updated: Sep 07, 2018 19:36 IST
Delhi,Delhi high court,anti-Sikh riots
Delhi high court in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the CBI’s response on a bail plea of a convict serving life sentence in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The plea by former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar came up before a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel, which listed it for hearing on September 11.

Khokhar has sought the relief saying he should be granted regular bail till the pendency of appeals filed against the trial court’s verdict in the riots case.

Advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for the CBI, said the appeals were listed for hearing on September 11 and the agency will file its response on the bail plea.

Khokhar has been lodged in Tihar Jail here since his conviction by the trial court in the case in May 2013.

Khokhar, a retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty in a case relating to the murder of five members of a family in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

They had challenged their conviction and the award of life sentence by the trial court in May 2013.

The trial court had acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the case but awarded life term to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal and a three-year jail term to two others — former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

The convicts have filed their appeals before the high court challenging the trial court’s verdict.

The CBI has also filed an appeal, alleging they were engaged in “a planned communal riot” and “religious cleansing”. It also appealed against the acquittal of Kumar.

The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notices to 11 accused including Khokhar and Yadav in five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases which were earlier closed.

The accused, who were acquitted of the charges, were asked why should the court not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they faced allegations of “horrifying crimes against humanity”.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 19:36 IST