New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) It was a mixed bag for Congress leader Sajjan Kumar Tuesday with a city court issuing a fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him in connection with a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots while accepting a closure report in another.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Lokesh Kumar issued a fresh NBW, asking Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others to appear in court March 10, and said: ‘I am satisfied that presence cannot be secured unless coercive method is applied.’
The court had Feb 17 issued NBW against Sajjan Kumar and others. The court asked the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure that Sajjan Kumar and others are present in court that day.
However, there was some relief for Sajjan Kumar when the judge accepted the closure report filed in another case during the riots – a case in Mongolpuri, northwest Delhi – as the victim Harbinder Kaur failed to appear in court and raised no objections against the closure.
During the proceedings, the CBI counsel said the bureau had conducted four raids at different places to nab the accused, including Sajjan Kumar, but failed to nab any of them except Girdhari Lal. He is an accused in a riot case at Delhi Cantonment, and has been arrested.
Hearing this, the court pulled up the CBI, saying the bureau was not working properly.
‘Is this the manner in which the premier investigating agency is working? Why were efforts not made in the night hours when there was a high probability of the accused being present in their homes? It seems that CBI is not interested in investigating the matter,’ the court said.
‘The report you (CBI) have submitted its just a stereotype report. I don’t understand why the search is conducted on the residence of the accused? Is there no other place where these people are available?’ the court asked.
On this the CBI counsel Y.K. Saxena said: ‘There is no other place where these people are available. These people are deliberately hiding.’
Terming the arrest of Girdhari Lal as a catch of a small fish, the court said: ‘The investigating officers (IO) of the cases are not serious about arresting the accused. Their role is suspicious.’
Refuting CBI’s remarks that the accused were absconding, senior advocate I.U. Khan, appearing for Sajjan Kumar, said: ‘We are not absconding. I am not concealing any of the facts and only waiting for the Delhi High Court order on the bail plea of my client and others.’
The high court had Monday reserved its order on the anticipatory bail plea of Sajjan Kumar and other accused.
Demanding the accused persons should be declared as proclaimed offender (PO) under the due process of law, the CBI counsel said: ‘They are hiding and concealing some facts, so necessary steps should be made to declare them PO.’
On this Khan said: ‘I am a law abiding citizen and am only waiting for the high court’s order on the bail.’
On this, the judge said: ‘If you are a law abiding citizen, then where is he? He should obey the court’s order first.’
The court dismissed the application made on behalf of the accused for exemption of personal appearance, stating: ‘The court will not work at the mercy of the accused. At present the accused persons are abusing their rights.’
The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Sajjan Kumar and others in two cases for allegedly instigating mobs after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi Oct 31, 1984.
Over 3,000 Sikhs across Delhi were killed in the communal frenzy in the days following the assassination.