1984 anti-Sikh riots case: Delhi HC extends bail to convict, CBI opposes

Bhagmal, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, 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 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:July 4, 2017 6:39 pm
1984 anti-Sikh riots, 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Delhi high court, Anti-sikh riot convicts, Indira Gandhi, 1984 anti-Sikh riots case: The convict is already on interim bail since March 24 on medical grounds. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended the bail granted on medical grounds to an 89-year-old convict serving life term in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, even as the CBI opposed it. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar granted the relief to retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal till July 13 as his plea seeking extension of interim suspension of his sentence is pending and issued notice to the CBI on it.

The agency in its status report said Bhagmal’s medical reports showed that he does not suffer from any chronic disease and the ailments were common at his age.

“The convict does not deserve any leniency and his application for extension of suspension of sentence may kindly be summarily dismissed with cost in the interest of justice,” the agency said while opposing the bail plea.

The convict is already on interim bail since March 24 on medical grounds.

Bhagmal, through his counsel, had stated that he was suffering from enlarged prostrate for which he has to undergo surgery which would require him to remain hospitalised.

The bench had earlier directed Bhagmal to give the address where he would be available and mobile number on which he can be contacted by the CBI during the interim suspension of his sentence. It had asked the convict not to get in touch with any witness or the legal heirs of the deceased.

“In case, there is a violation of this condition, it will be open to the CBI to move an application for recall of this order,” it had said, adding that Bhagmal shall not leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi without its permission.

Bhagmal, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, 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 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

They had challenged their conviction and the sentence awarded by the trial court in May 2013.

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

The convicts have filed appeals before the High Court, while CBI filed an appeal alleging that they were engaged in “a planned communal riot” and “religious cleansing”. The agency has also appealed against acquittal of Kumar.

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

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”.

The bench had issued notices on the complaints filed regarding the violent incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in the Delhi Cantonment area.

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  1. S
    sonia
    Jul 5, 2017 at 10:53 am
    In the midst of media hype about Prime Minister of India’s visit to Israel, India’s public and their judiciary should make a note of the fact that zero compassion was shown at the Nuremburg Trials for assassins aged 90 plus. Just because someone like India’s Union Minister for Finance, for Corporate Affairs AND Defence publicly states that the mass killing of Sikhs in 84 was not an act of genocide, that does not dilute the crime of its heinous nature and reality. The grave fault-line in India’s judicial system is misplaced compassion and support for ‘top businessmen’, politicians, bureaucrats, defence officers etc, and complete apathy for civilian victims/families of victims of their appalling crimes. That is why the wheels of genocide keep turning and India’s judiciary is to blame for that: ‘Innocent’/‘Bail not Jail’ they say for ‘one of their own’ (i.e. a member of ‘the system’) ‘Jail not Bail’ for all the rest, including their victims. That is why India is a nation of savages
    Reply