1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Second judge of Delhi HC recuses from hearing Sajjan Kumar’s plea
New Delhi, July 13: A second judge of the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to hear senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case of the killing of three Sikhs in West Delhi area of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Earlier too, one Judge refused to hear this matter. Now the case has come to a third Judge in Delhi High Court and will be heard on July 19.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) had approached the Delhi High Court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted by the trial court to Kumar.
On June 10, the first Delhi High Court Judge recused himself from hearing Kumar’s bail cancellation plea in connection with the riots, as the appearing advocate was his relative.
Earlier in April, the Delhi High Court had reopened five cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that were closed in 1986.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also filed appeals against the acquittal of Kumar and light sentence to ex-councillor Balwan Khokar.
The High Court had taken suo motu cognizance as during the course of the arguments Kumar’s lawyers mentioned these matters as precedents since co-accused Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokar and Kishan Khokar had been acquitted in them.
The court noted that eyewitnesses had not been examined in those cases and there was a “travesty” since the investigation was not done properly.
The court took suo motu cognizance of the “errors” in the 1986 trial judgment, adding that key eyewitnesses were not examined and cases were closed “very rapidly” seemingly without proper investigation and trial.
The Bench passed this order after taking note of the trial court judgments passed in 1986 in the five cases.
The apex court had also directed the Centre to deposit more than 190 files in connection with this case.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that the SIT in as many as 263 cases had no case files and there was no trace of any victim or witness.
On February 20, the Centre filed a status report in the top court on the investigation conducted by the SIT into anti-Sikh riots cases.
Anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone.