The Delhi High Court will be hearing this week a plea filed against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar which seeks the cancellation of the bail granted to him in regards to a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The HC has been petitioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to cancel the anticipatory bail provided to Sajjan Kumar through a trial court.
The HC had earlier heard the case on July 19 related to the murder of three Sikhs in West Delhi in the 1984 riots. On July 13, one of the judges of the Delhi High Court recused himself from the case, making him the second judge to recuse from the case.
Previously Closed Cases reopened by HC
The HC has reopened five cases involving in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that had been closed in 1986.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed appeals challenging the acquittal of Kumar and the life sentence given to former councillor Balwan Khokhar.
The High Court has taken suo motu cognizance during the hearing as Kumar’s lawyers had quoted the cases as precedents in which others accused, namely Kishan Khokhar, Balwan Khokhar and Mahender Yadav, had been acquitted.
The bench noted that eyewitnesses hadn’t been examined properly in these cases and called them a “travesty”.
Accordingly, the court took suo motu cognizance of the “errors” contained in the 1986 trial judgment, pointing out that key witnesses had not been examined and the cases had been closed “very rapidly” without a proper investigation or a trial.
The apex court has directed the Centre to deposit over 190 files related to the case. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the Supreme Court that the SIT has no case files on nearly 263 cases and there was no trace of victims or witnesses.
On February this year, the Centre submitted a status report to the Supreme Court covering the investigation carried out by the SIT into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.
The riots broke out post the assassination of Indira Gandhi the-then prime minister, which claimed around 2,433 lives in Delhi.