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No relief for Sajjan Kumar from high court

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday refused to give Congress leader Sajjan Kumar any interim relief, declining to stay the non-bailable warrant issued against him in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.

After hearing heated arguments from counsel for Sajjan Kumar and other accused, Justice A.K.Pathak refused to stay the proceedings of the trial court and slated the the next hearing Monday when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had filed the charge sheet, will continue with its arguments.

Senior advocate I.U. Khan, appearing for Sajjan Kumar, pleaded that his client should be granted some interim relief. The CBI had been ‘very kind and generous’ to him for all these years ‘but somehow things have changed…,’ he said.

At this, Justice Pathak said: ‘CBI is still generous for you.’

Khan said there is a likelihood that his client might be arrested any time by the investigating agency.

However, the judge turned down the plea. ‘It is just a matter of two days, no one will arrest him,’ the judge said.

Contending that Sajjan Kumar’s name had appeared among the accused six years after the riots took place, Khan said his name did not figure there in 1984 but in 1990 and over 100 witnesses examined by the investigating agency did not name him either.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Wednesday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Sajjan Kumar and six others in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, taking exception to his absence in the court after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him relief.

‘He (Sajjan) was duty-bound to appear…The accused was called to appear before the court but he chose to challenge before superior court…but he could not get any relief. He was duty-bound to honour the court’s order,’ Lokesh Kumar osbserved.

The high court also sought the response of the CBI and others on the petition of two other accused who challenged the trial.

Arguing for Brahmprakash and two other accused, former additional solicitor general (ASG) Amarendra Sharan said: ‘Filing of the fresh charge sheet in the case is in the bad spirit of law. The charge sheet is not maintainable at all. If this situation will prevail, then nobody in this country will have liberty to live and will never be able to acquit himself from trial.’

‘This prosecution is leading to my client’s persecution,’ Sharan claimed, adding the registration of cases, where the acquittal took place, is barred under the law.

‘And moreover whenever these people are required by the investigating agency, these people have voluntarily appeared and cooperated in the investigation,’ he said.

Sharan said his client was being harassed for the past 25 years and sought bail for him, citing his good conduct in the past, and said that he did not need to go to jail ‘just to satisfy the ego of some people.’

The CBI filed charge sheets against 13 people, including Sajjan Kumar, Jan 13 in two 1984 riot cases for allegedly making provocative speeches leading to the killing of 12 people in the violence that broke out following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

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