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C.B.I. Challenges Sajjan's Acquittal for 1984 Sikh Massacres
Press Trust of India, New Delhi, Jul. 12, 2003
The C.B.I. on Friday challenged the acquittal of senior Delhi Congress leader and former M.P. Sajjan Kumar and nine others in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which he had allegedly led a mob that killed and looted Sikhs in New Delhi. A Division Bench of Justice Usha Mehra and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, which condoned the delay in filing the appeal against the acquittal order, summoned trial court records and posted the matter for Aug. 19. Appearing for the C.B.I., Additional Solicitor General K.K. Sud submitted before the Bench that the trial court had erred in acquitting the accused as it considered the statements of prosecution witnesses before various inquiry commissions.
Section 6 of the Commission of Inquiry Act prohibits the use of statements made before it in any other proceeding, Sud said and stressed that the scope of a Commission's inquiry is restricted to its terms of reference and hence a statement by a witness before it may not be relevant for a criminal trial. Eight riot victims and the Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee [S.G.P.C.] filed separate appeals against the acquittal through their counsel Satinder S. Gulati. These appeals have been transferred by Justice J.D. Kapoor to the Division Bench.
Additional Sessions Judge Manju Goel had on Dec. 23 last acquitted Kumar in the case on the ground that C.B.I. failed to prove charges that he actually led the mob which killed about 50 Sikhs in an out Delhi area following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Oct. 31, 1984. C.B.I. had registered the case against Kumar on a complaint by one Anwar Kaur, who had lost her husband in the riots. But surprisingly, she contradicted her own statements during the trial leading to the acquittal of the accused.