Uphold life term for Sajjan Kumar: CBI to Supreme Court
The CBI made this submission in an affidavit, which the agency filed in response to Kumar’s appeal questioning his conviction and sentence. Kumar has also asked for bail until his appeal is decided.Updated: Mar 15, 2019 23:41 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday urged the Supreme Court to uphold the Delhi High Court’s order of a life sentence for former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The CBI also opposed his plea for bail, saying he has been using his “large political clout” to derail the trial and influence witnesses.
The CBI made this submission in an affidavit in response to Kumar’s appeal questioning his conviction and sentence. Kumar also asked for bail until his appeal is decided. A bench led by Justice SA Bobde took the affidavit on record and fixed March 25 to hear Kumar’s application for bail.
Kumar, 73, was held guilty by the high court on December 17, 2018, and sentenced to jail for life in a case related to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-1 area of southwest Delhi on the intervening night of November 1 and 2.
Kumar surrendered before a trial court here on December 31, 2018, to serve the sentence in pursuance of the high court’s judgment awarding him life imprisonment for the “remainder of his natural life”. He resigned from the Congress after his conviction in the case.
The CBI argued against Kumar’s release and said he is capable of “influencing” and “terrorising” witnesses. A fair trial would not be possible in the other cases pending against him, if he is granted bail, the agency said, adding that Kumar’s conduct in using his political clout to derail trial and influence witnesses should be a ground to deny him bail.
The murders witnessed during the 1984 riots fell under the category of “crime against humanity on parity with well-known genocides worldwide like large scale killing of Armenians by Kurds and Turks, mass extermination of Jews by Nazis, mass killing of Bangladeshi citizens by the sympathisers of Pakistani Army and mass killing during various ethnic riots within India also,” the CBI argued.
The minority community was targeted by “spearheaded attacks of dominant political actors like the applicant/convict (Kumar) and duly facilitated by law enforcement agencies,” CBI said. “It took 34 valuable years of legal battle and courage shown by fearless witnesses/victims, which has resulted in his conviction and no leniency, therefore, on the ground of age should be granted,” read the CBI affidavit.
First Published: Mar 15, 2019 23:39 IST