A Delhi court will tomorrow record the statement of former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar who is facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case relating to the killing of six persons. The case against Sajjan, former Outer Delhi MP, was registered on a recommendation by the Justice G T Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and others in January last year. The trial against Sajjan had hit roadblocks in the past as the Congress leader had been taking legal recourse for its stay and quashing of charges in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. However, decks were finally cleared on September 20, 2010, when the Supreme Court dismissed his plea for quashing criminal cases filed by the CBI.
The apex court had rejected Sajjan’s argument that he cannot be tried after such a long gap of over 25 years as it violated his fundamental right for speedy trial and that CBI’s key witnesses cannot be relied upon. It had said the materials placed by the CBI were sufficient for the magistrate to proceed against Sajjan whose guilt or otherwise can be determined only at the trial, which he now has to face.
The trial court had in May 2010 framed charges against Sajjan and five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC. The CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against members of Sikh community during the carnage that led to the killing of several persons in Delhi Cantonment area. Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.
The CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan and others on January 13, 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission. Since the trial relates to the incidents of 1984, the apex court had directed the trial judge to make sincere efforts for completion of the case as early as possible and asked the prosecution and accused to render all assistance. Additional Session Judge Sunita Gupta had fixed the date for recording Sajjan’s statement after it concluded the recording of statements of other five co-accused in the case. The court has so far recorded the statements of Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Bhagmal. All of them have defended Sajjan Kumar, saying that neither he was a part of the mob nor he instigated them to kill the Sikhs.
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