1984 anti-Sikh riots: HC reserves order on SIT plea to cancel Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s bail

During the hearing, additional solicitor argued that the trial court’s order granting anticipatory bail to the leader was “perverse” and there were overwhelming circumstances which were ignored.

punjab Updated: Dec 12, 2017 20:44 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
1984 anti-Sikh riots,Punjab,Sikhs

The Delhi high court on Tuesday reserved its order on a plea by the special investigation team (SIT) probing 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, seeking to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in two matters.

Justice Anu Malhotra heard the arguments of the SIT’s counsel, Sajjan Kumar and riot victims and said it would pass an order.

During the hearing, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, appearing for the SIT which is probing the charges against Kumar, argued that the trial court’s order granting anticipatory bail to the leader was “perverse” and there were overwhelming circumstances which were ignored.

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar. (HT File Photo)

“The observations in the bail order show that the order was perverse. In a matter of such a magnitude, if anticipatory bail is put up before the trial court, it is imperative upon the judge to consider the material gathered by the prosecuting agency, which is SIT in this case,” Jain contended.

He argued that the trial court’s bail order could not have been and ought not to have been passed, and should be set aside.

While reading out the statements of various witnesses, the additional solicitor general said the sessions judge had observed in his order that the evidence was hearsay. However, all these evidences are not hearsay and there are eye witnesses to the incident, he added.

Kumar was granted anticipatory bail by a trial court on December 21 last year in two separate cases of killing of three Sikhs during the riots which had occurred after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Opposing the plea, advocate Anil Sharma, appearing for the Congress leader, said he was neither defending the incident, nor saying that it did not take place.

He submitted that former MP’s name was never taken earlier and it was a case of fresh allegations coming up after 32 years which was not allowed.

Senior advocate HS Phoolka, representing the riot victims, said the SIT was fully empowered to probe the case.

There are two cases filed against Kumar falling in the jurisdictions of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in West Delhi.

The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on November 1, 1984, and in the other, where another Sikh, Gurcharan Singh, was burnt on November 2, 1984, in the jurisdiction of the Vikaspuri police station. Gurcharan, who was half burnt, had remained bedridden for 29 years. He died three years ago.

The SIT had been constituted by the Union home ministry in February 2015 to reinvestigate “serious cases” filed in Delhi relating to riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 20:41 IST