In a setback to senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar,the Delhi High Court today refused to quash various charges including that of murder against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case,saying the delay in prosecution has apparently benefited him.
Kumar,a former Outer Delhi MP,is facing prosecution in two cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against Sikh community in the aftermath of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31,1984,leading to killings of several persons.
“Circumstances of the case and the nature of offences is certainly not such as to justify the quashing of the charges against the petitioner-accused (Kumar) in the interest of justice.
“The interest of justice requires that the offences allegedly committed by accused persons are expeditiously tried to preserve the rule of law in the society,” the court said while directing the trial court to hold the proceedings against him expeditiously in the anti-Sikh riots cases.
Raising doubt over the motive of the city police which had placed before a Magisterial court the cancellation report “without competence”,Justice Vipin Sanghi directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to examine the justifiability of the report and to file an action taken report within six months.
The court turned down the plea of Kumar that delay in the prosecution has adversely affected his case.
“The delay in the prosecution of the case against the accused does not,in any event,appear to have caused any prejudice to him. He has not faced the trial for over two and a half decades and has enjoyed his freedom,” the court said.
Kumar contended before the court that the charges should not have been framed against him in the light of “basic infirmities” with regard to the changing stands of the “key witness” as also the statements of several witnesses were recorded after much delay.
However,the court said that the probative value of the material on record cannot be gone into at the time of framing of the charges and the material brought on record by the prosecution has to be accepted as true at that stage.
“The materials produced by the prosecution along with the charge sheet,namely,the statements of various prosecution witnesses raises grave suspicion against the petitioner (Kumar) accused about the commission of the alleged offences.
“It cannot be said at this stage that the petitioner is not involved in the commission of offences,of which he is charged,” the court said.