1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Delhi HC judge recuses from hearing Sajjan Kumar's plea

| Updated: Jul 10, 2017 22:02 IST

New Delhi [India] July 10 (ANI): A Delhi High Court Judge on Monday recused himself from hearing senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's bail cancellation plea in connection with the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots, as the appearing advocate was his relative. Earlier in April, the Delhi High Court had reopened five cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that were closed in 1986. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also filed appeals against the acquittal of Kumar and light sentence to ex-councillor Balwan Khokar. The High Court had taken suo motu cognizance as during course of the arguments Kumar's lawyers mentioned these matters as precedents since co-accused Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokar and Kishan Khokar had been acquitted in them. The court noted that eyewitnesses had not been examined in those cases and there was a "travesty" since investigation was not done properly. The court took suo motu cognizance of the "errors" in the 1986 trial judgment, adding that key eyewitnesses were not examined and cases were closed "very rapidly" seemingly without proper investigation and trial. The bench passed this order after taking note of the trial court judgments passed in 1986 in the five cases. The apex court had also directed the Centre to deposit more than 190 files in connection with this case. Expressing serious concern over the closure of more than 190 cases, out of a total of the 293 cases referred to the (Special Investigation Team) SIT on 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, the court asked the Union of India to produce on record on April 25 all the files related to closure of these cases by SIT. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that the SIT in as many as 263 cases had no case files and there was no trace of any victim or witness. On February 20, the Centre filed a status report in the top court on the investigation conducted by the SIT into anti-Sikh riots cases. The court had asked the government to brief it within four weeks on the steps taken in the matter, after the Centre had said that the SIT's work was "in progress". Earlier, the apex court directed petitioner Gurlad Singh Kahlon to file his suggestions in connection with the riot cases. Kahlon had sought the court's direction for setting up of the SIT to ensure speedy justice to the riot victims. Anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone. (ANI)

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