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Sajjan will be tried for 1984 riots: SC

Source: PTI
September 20, 2010 11:20 IST
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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash the charges of murder and other offences against senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and said the trial will continue against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

A bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and A R Dave vacated the August 13 interim order staying the trial proceedings against him before a Delhi court.

"The trial judge is free to analyse and evaluate the charges and the submissions to arrive at an appropriate conclusion," the bench said while disposing of the appeal filed by Kumar against a Delhi high court order.

The apex court directed the trial court to expedite the hearings of the case for its early disposal. It said the observations made by the Delhi high court on the investigation of the case and against Kumar will not affect the trial court from arriving at its conclusion.

"The trial judge is free to analyse, appreciate and evaluate the materials placed before it," the court said. The bench clarified that all observations by the high court would not influence the trial court in the ultimate analysis of the evidences.

"We are of the view that it (observations) cannot be either bad or abuse of law," the court said.

The court had reserved its judgment on September 13 on the appeal filed by Kumar against the Delhi high court's decision against staying the trial against him on July 19. The high court had then refused to quash various charges, including that of murder, against Kumar, saying the delay in prosecution had apparently benefited him.

The apex court had on August 13 stayed for two weeks the trial proceedings against Kumar. The Congress leader had contended before the apex court that the observations made by the high court could have a bearing on the trial. In a special leave petition, Kumar had argued that the complainants' testimony against him were unreliable and the high court made various uncalled for observations that could determine the fate of the trial.

The CBI had defended its decision to re-investigate the case against Kumar for his alleged involvement in the riots, saying it was a decision taken by Parliament. Kumar, a former Outer Delhi MP, is facing prosecution in two cases in which he was accused of inciting a mob against the Sikh community in the aftermath of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.

The trial court had in May this year framed charges against Kumar under sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, paving the way for his trial as well as that of five others.

The CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against members of the Sikh community during the carnage that led to the killing of five persons in Delhi Cantonment area. Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

The CBI had filed two chargesheets against Kumar and others on January 13 in the riot cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of the Justice G T Nanavati Commission, which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.

The trial court had on July 7 framed charges against the politician in another case in connection with the anti-Sikh riots. 

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