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Sajjan can question witness for own defence: Court

The Delhi High court on Friday allowed Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s plea to use in his defence 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim Jagdish Kaur’s statements to judicial commissions.

Written by Jayant Sriram | New Delhi | Published: August 4, 2012 4:51:50 am

The Delhi High court on Friday allowed Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s plea to use in his defence 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim Jagdish Kaur’s statements to judicial commissions.

Overturning the trial court June 2 order that dismissed his plea,Justice Pratibha Rani said Kumar has the right to get a fair trial and should be given an opportunity to defend himself. “He is permitted to confront the witnesses and other evidence that the prosecution is relying upon,” the judge said,directing all parties to appear for a hearing on August 6.

“The trial court by curtailing this right of the accused had denied him his right to have a fair trial,” she said.

Rejecting the CBI’s argument that the Commissions of Inquiry Act disallows Kumar from confronting Kaur,the court said: “It is settled position of law that no evidence can be read against the accused if not subjected to cross-examination.”

Kumar,in his plea to the trial court,had sought to confront Kaur with the affidavits and statements that she had given to the Nanavati and Mishra commissions,which probed the riots.

The former MP’s plea was,however,dismissed by District Judge J R Aryan while hearing the case at the Karkardooma district court. The trial court held that Kaur’s statements to the judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose,including that for discrediting her testimony.

Kumar is facing trial along with Balwan Khokkar,Kishan Khokkar,Mahender Yadav,Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal for his alleged role in the killing of six persons in the Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 riots. He is accused of instigating a mob.

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