Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Friday submitted in the Delhi High Court there was no allegation against him of instigating a mob against Sikhs on October 31, 1984, after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra was informed by Kumar’s counsel that initially the victim had named several persons before the authorities but not the former Member of Parliament and that he had no connection with the co-accused.
Senior advocate Amit Sibal, appearing for Kumar, argued that there was also no allegation of any involvement of the leader in the October 31, 1984 incident either in the charge sheet in the court. The trial court had framed charges of instigation and abetment against him but there was no allegation, he claimed.
Regarding the charge of criminal conspiracy, Sibal and advocate Anil Kumar Sharma, said no role was assigned to Kumar of his involvement with the co-accused and three prosecution witnesses had also not stated anything about him.
While Kumar was acquitted by the trial court, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty in the case.
The high court was hearing CBI’s appeal against Kumar’s acquittal in the murder of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
The trial court had awarded life term in May 2013 to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal and three-year jail term to two others -former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar. They have challenged their conviction and jails terms awarded by the trial court.
The CBI too has filed an appeal seeking enhancement of sentence of the convicts and the acquittal of Kumar, alleging that all of them were engaged in “a planned communal riot” and “religious cleansing”.
The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notice to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav, in five other 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in which they had been acquitted by the trial court.
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 notice on the complaints filed regarding the violent incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in Delhi Cantonment area.
Earlier, the bench had sought a reply from Kumar on a letter purportedly written to it by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee alleging that the accused in the case have confessed to being present at the spot where the violent incidents had occurred.