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C.B.I. Challenges Sajjan's Acquittal for 1984 Sikh Massacres
The Tribune, New Delhi, Jul. 12, 2003
The acquittal of Congress leader and former M.P. Sajjan Kumar by a Sessions Court here in an 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, was challenged by the C.B.I. in the Delhi High Court today. The C.B.I. contended that there was sufficient evidence to prove him guilty along with over half-a-dozen other accused persons for the murder of a Sikh youth in a West Delhi locality. Accepting the appeal for hearing, a Bench comprising Ms. Justice Usha Mehra and Mr. Justice Pradeep Nandrajog condoned the nine-day delay in filing the appeal by the C.B.I. The court summoned the records of the case from the court of the Sessions Judge, who had acquitted Sajjan Kumar and nine others in the case on Dec. 23 last year holding that there was not enough evidence against the accused.
Sajjan Kumar was charged by the C.B.I. of 'instigating' and leading a mob against Sikhs in the Sultanpuri area of West Delhi 'to kill male members of Sikhs and to loot their properties' on Nov. 1, 1984, in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards. Sajjan Kumar and nine other persons were charged with murder, rioting, spreading communal disharmony, instigating people for rioting and looting.
The case was registered against Kumar and other accused persons on the complaint of Anwar Kaur, a resident of Sultanpuri, alleging that her husband Navin Singh was killed by the mob 'instigated' by Kumar. But during the cross-examination in the court, she had contradicted her statement, which led to the acquittal of the accused persons. Additional Solicitor General K.K. Sud pleading for admission of the appeal said the trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence properly and had 'erred' coming to the conclusion that the benefit of doubt went in the favour of the accused persons.