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Anti-Sikh riots: Sajjan Kumar moves HC against trial court order

June 12, 2012 19:40 IST
Senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Tuesday moved the Delhi high court challenging the trial court's order dismissing his plea to use the statement of a victim given before a judicial commission to defend himself in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Kumar's plea was dismissed on June 2 by the trial court which had said that the witness Jagdish Kaur's statements to judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose, including that for discrediting her or to impeach her.

Kumar's petition is listed for hearing before Justice S P Garg on Wednesday. However, senior counsel H S Phoolka, representing the victims, has written a letter to the registrar general of the high court saying that listing of the case is against the guidelines for listing of urgent matters during vacations.

"The listing of this matter is clearly against the guidelines of 'listing of urgent matters'. During vacations, only those matters are to be listed 'which cannot brook delay', till the normal sitting of the court," the senior lawyer said.

He also said the trial court has listed the matter for hearing on July 12 and there is no urgency to hear the matter.

"No urgency or happening of any event before 2nd July 2012 has been alleged in the stay application or in the revision petition....," the letter said.

Stating that the matter be listed after reopening of courts, the lawyer said "the petitioner has got this matter listed by suppression of facts and wants to get the matter listed only during the vacations because both the special public prosecutors appointed by this very court are out of the country and hence are not be available during the vacations."

The Congress leader, in his application, had said that the earlier affidavits and statements of complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur to the judicial commission should be allowed to be used to confront her with her recent testimony in the ongoing trial.

The former Delhi MP had filed an application saying that Central Bureau of Investigation prosecutor R S Cheema on July 12, 2010 had told the court that affidavits and statement of complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur, recorded by G T Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra Commissions, cannot be used because of contradictions.

The CBI had said as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, the affidavits and statements of a witness given before any Commission cannot be used against her for the purpose of questioning her testimony.

According to Kumar, if the prosecution and the witness would use the affidavits filed before Ranganath Commission and Nanavati Commission, then there is no law, which forbids the defence from confronting them.

Kumar, Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal are facing trial in the killings of six people in Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 carnage, which had broken out after the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. They are accused of instigating a mob to attack and kill the Sikhs.

The case against Kumar was registered on the recommendation by Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and others in January 2010.

The trial court had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and five others in 2010 under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC.


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