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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom SC Stays Sajjan Kumar's Trial In 1984 Anti-Sikh Riot Case (extended Coverage)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
NEW DELHI: The fast-paced trial of CongressleaderSajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case came to a sudden halt on Friday when the Supreme Court stayed further proceedings after the accused pleaded quashing of charges framed against him.

Appearing for Kumar, senior advocateL Nageshwar Rao assailed the July 19 judgment of the Delhi High Court upholding the framing of charges against his client. He said in the 26-year-old case the witnesses had not even uttered a single accusation against Kumar for 20 years making their statements at present appear politically motivated.

A Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan issued notice to the CBI asking it to respond to Kumar's special leave petition within two weeks and ordered stay of the trial proceedings till then.

Though the apex court stayed the trial, its anxiety appeared to have been focussed on the Delhi HC judgment, in which certain observations were made. "The HC appears to have exceeded in making observations on certain issues which might have some bearing on the trial," the Bench observed.

Within hours of the interim order of the SC, noted anti-Sikh riots activist and senior advocateH S Phoolka rushed to the court and pleaded before the Bench to vacate the stay or in the alternative at least allow the deposition of witness Jagdish Kaur, which entered the 17th day on Friday, to be concluded. But, the Bench refused to alter its earlier order.

Sajjan Kumar's SLP, filed through counsel Amit Anand Tiwari, questioned the credentials of two witnesses -- Jagdish Kaur and Nirprit Kaur -- whose statements formed the basis of the CBI chargesheet filed against him on January 13 this year in a case relating to the death of five persons in the Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

He said Jagdish Kaur had neither named him in her first affidavit filed on September 7, 1985, before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission nor had she named him in her subsequent statement before the Delhi Police (Riot Cell). Her cursory statement before the Nanavati Commission came only in the year 2000, that is nearly 20 years later. "In a criminal case, a statement made after 20 years which is contrary to several earlier statements has no value whatsoever," he said.

On the other witness Nirprit Kaur's statement that she had seen Kumar inciting the mob to indulge in rioting on November 2, 1984, the petitioner questioned as to why she did not name him when she gave her first statement to the police on March 1, 1985.

"This fact makes her statement unreliable as well as also create a possible view that her statement is politically motivated specifically in view of the fact that she had been an active member of the Khalistan movement and was even detained and remained in jail for a long period," Kumar said.

On the basis of the CBI chargesheet filed on January 13, the trial court at Karkardooma in east Delhi framed charges against Kumar on May 15.

Read more: SC stays Sajjan Kumar's trial in 1984 anti-Sikh riot case - Delhi - City - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ot-case/articleshow/6306706.cms#ixzz0wcYgDc6N