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Monday, September 21, 2020

1984 anti-Sikh riots case: SC dismisses interim bail plea of Sajjan Kumar

In 2018, the Delhi High Court had sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment and held him guilty of murder, promoting enmity between groups, and defiling public property.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 4, 2020 1:02:21 pm
Sajjan Kumar, Sajjan Kumar anti-Sikh riots, anti-Sikh riots 1984, 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Sajjan Kumar bail plea, Sajjan Kumar bail plea denied, India news, Indian ExpressSajjan Kumar was awarded life imprisonment by Delhi High Court for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. (Express file photo/Praveen Khanna)

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the interim bail plea of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar who is serving life imprisonment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Rejecting his plea, the top court said that his appeal against the conviction in the case may be taken up for hearing after the court starts its physical hearing. “Sorry. We are not inclined. Dismissed,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Kumar, argued that interim bail be granted to Kumar on health grounds as he has been in jail for 20 months and has lost nearly 16 kg weight and needs to recover from past ailments.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, who has been appearing for some of the riot victims, opposed the plea and said whatever treatment is needed Kumar is already being given the same at the hospital.

In 2018, the Delhi High Court had sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment and held him guilty of murder, promoting enmity between groups, and defiling public property. The Court had reversed a lower court’s 2013 ruling that had acquitted Kumar. He was sent to jail after he surrendered before a trial court on December 31.

The CBI accused him and four others of killing six Sikh men during the ensuing riots. However, Kumar was acquitted by a trial court in 2013 when it refused to convict him solely on the basis of the eyewitness testimony of the complainant, Jagdish Kaur, who had lost her husband, son and three brothers in the riots.

Kumar resigned from Congress after his conviction.

The case in which he was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area on November 1-2 in 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

Anti-Sikh riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards.

(With PTI inputs)

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