1984 riots: No anticipatory bail for Sajjan Kumar

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) A city court Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of former union minister and senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, accused in two cases during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the capital.

Sessions Judge P.S. Teji rejected Kumar’s petition stating that the charges were serious.

The court also pointed out that as per the direction of the Delhi High Court, the trial has to be completed within six months.

Earlier in the day, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) opposed the anticipatory bail plea on the grounds that Sajjan Kumar may influence witnesses if granted bail.

Arguing on behalf of Sajjan Kumar, senior advocate I.U. Khan said the case had been dragging on for years but the petitioner (Sajjan) had never tried to influence any witness or tampered with evidence.

‘No complaint of any misconduct with the case property or of threatening is ever registered against him,’ Khan told the sessions judge.

On the other hand, the CBI counsel argued that the case was sensitive in nature and people’s emotions were attached to it.

‘Although no complaint was ever registered against Sajjan and other accused in the case, the fact is that witnesses are scared and did not feel safe,’ CBI said.

On Jan 13, the CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar and others.

The first charge sheet relates to the killing of five people in the Delhi Cantonment area, and the second to the death of many in riots in Sultanpuri. The bureau charged Sajjan Kumar and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 302 (murder), 153-A (rioting) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

Sajjan Kumar is among those accused of instigating mobs that killed over 3,000 Sikhs across Delhi in the days following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on Oct 31, 1984.

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