Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's acquittal in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case was on Saturday challenged in the Delhi high court by members of the victims' family who contended that the trial court failed to appreciate the large number of legally admissible evidence in its verdict.
The appeal filed by Jagdish Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur, who had lost their close relatives in the carnage following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, sought setting aside of the trial court's April 30 judgement.
They contended that the verdict was "erroneous" as the trial court had failed to appreciate that there were ample legally admissible evidence against Kumar to show that he had allegedly "engineered" the murders of five Sikh persons in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment.
They also submitted that the trial court ignored the statements of Jagdish Kaur, Jagsher Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur who were direct witness to Kumar's presence and "speech of hatred" given by him on November 2, 1984.
On April 30, allowing Kumar to walk free in the case, the trial court in its 129-page verdict said the subsequent testimony of victim Jagdish Kaur that she had seen him instigating a mob with his provocative speech was "not acceptable and believable".
The court had acquitted Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi, but convicted five others -- Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal -- for their involvement in the case.
The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Gandhi was shot dead by two of her bodyguards at her residence in New Delhi.