The CBI on Tuesday said they would challenge in Delhi High Court the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riots case. The CBI said it has found sufficient grounds to file an appeal.
The CBI has also decided to pursue the prosecution against Kumar in another anti-Sikh riots case,from Sultanpuri in New Delhi,on a high priority basis.
On April 30,a city court acquitted Kumar of all the charges in a case related to the killing of five men in a Delhi Cantonment colony during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Senior CBI officials said they would take the view of the Union Law Ministry on the issue and would appeal against Kumars acquittal only after the sentencing was done.
The city court acquitted Kumar but held five others guilty in the same case. The process of filing an appeal can begin only after the court sentences the guilty, a senior CBI official said. He said the appeal would also reassure people of CBIs intent to pursue the case.
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The legal department has scrutinised the lower courts judgment and has highlighted several points on the basis of which we can move the HC. The process will require the approval of the Law Ministry, a CBI official said.
Meanwhile,the group of Sikhs protesting against Kumars acquittal met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde with their list of demands as riot victim Nirpreet Kaurs fast entered its fifth day at Jantar Mantar. Nirpreet has vowed not to eat till the Union government ordered a through investigation into the riots cases.
We met the Union Home Minister,Sushil kumar Shinde,on Tuesday who assured us of prompt action. However,Nirpreet Kaurs fast will end only after four demands are met, a protester said.
The demands include an appeal against Kumars acquittal,the formation of a special investigation team,the chargesheet related to FIR 67/87 filed in court and a criminal case against Rajiv Ranjan the police officer responsible for suppressing the chargesheet, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa said.
Sources said the group had been told that a SIT can be instituted only on the orders of the court. But it has been assured of action being initiated against Rajiv Ranjan.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family also arrived in Delhi to express solidarity with the protesting Sikhs. They are scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.
Meanwhile,a day after Kumars lawyer,Anil Kumar Sharma,said baseless allegations had been levelled at his client,senior Supreme Court advocate H S Phoolka hit back saying Kumar was involved from the beginning and was shielded by police and the government.
According to Phoolka,Kumars name found mention in several enquiry reports prepared by government-appointed commissions and civil rights groups (see box).
H S Phoolka traces Sajjans name in files
A delegation of Opposition leaders met the then Prime Minister on November 6,1984,and mentioned the involvement of Sajjan Kumar. This appeared in several newspapers on November 7,1984.
The Misra Commission agreed with the allegations of the victims that police did not register cases where the victims named political leaders. 12 affidavits were filed against Sajjan Kumar between July 1985 and September 1985 before Misra Commission.
Ambassador Gurbachan Singh (retd) and Gobind Narain (former governor) informed Nanavati Commission that while they were holding enquiries as part of Justice Sikris Citizens Commission in December 1984,a number of victims named Sajjan Kumar.
In August 1987,the Jain-Banerjee Committee recommended registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar. No case registered by police.
In 1991,Delhi Police sent a report to the Prosecution Branch to close the case against Sajjan Kumar in FIR No. 67/87 of the Nangloi police station,but the Prosecution Branch rejected the recommendation. It held that there was sufficient evidence against Sajjan Kumar to file the chargesheet.
From 1991 to 1993,Jain-Aggarwal Committee recommended registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar,based on 17 affidavits filed by the victims in the year 1985 and 1987. Police did not register any case.
Accept death penalty demand in 2 days: SAD tells Centre
New Delhi: SAD leaders,protesting the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riots case,Tuesday gave two-day ultimatum to the government to accept their demand of death penalty to Kumar and an SIT probe failing which they will intensify the agitation.
A five-member delegation of SAD leaders on Tuesday met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna. The LG had called us for a meeting and told that the government was worried over the way protests were happening in Delhi. He said that we should take back our protest, national vice president of SAD,Omkar Singh Thapar said.
We asked him to accept our demands,which are death penalty to Kumar and a probe into the 1984 riots by the Supreme Court monitored special investigative team,to which,LG assured us that he was speaking to higher ups and soon arrive at a solution and asked us to stop the protests, Thapar claimed.
We have assured him that we would keep such protests on hold for two days, he added.