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Anti-Sikh riots: Sajjan Kumar's plea dumped

June 02, 2012 18:18 IST

A Delhi court on Saturday dismissed Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's plea to use in his defence a 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim's statements to judicial commissions, allegedly contradicting her testimony to trial court.

The witness' statements to judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose, including that for discrediting her or to impeach her, District Judge J R Aryan said.

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

"It is clear that without going into the wider questions, even a plain reading of section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act will prohibits the use of the previous statements at the trial either for the purposes of cross examination to contradict the witness or to impeach his credit," the court said.

The former Outer Delhi MP had filed an application saying that CBI 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.

Sajjan 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.

In his application, Sajjan Kumar had said the CBI had earlier brought on record and even examined Kaur's affidavit and statement to the judicial commissions but it now says it is not relying on them.

He had said prosecutor Cheema had on July 12, 2010, made a statement in the court that affidavits of the witness in the case cannot be used due to contradictions.

Earlier, Sajjan Kumar's counsel had said law and justice dwell together and law does not permit this situation and "now the prosecution cannot claim protection of the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act as no such protection could be given in respect of evidence given in the court."

Advocate Anil Kumar, appearing for other accused, had said 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.

The case against Sajjan 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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