Delhi HC overturns Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal, awards life sentence


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 Kumar has been convicted for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.

The Delhi High Court on Monday sentenced to life Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, overturning the trial court’s earlier verdict. Kumar has been convicted for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.

He has been asked to surrender by December 31. The court said Kumar’s life imprisonment will be for the remainder of his life.

A Bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel had, in October, concluded hearing arguments on appeals filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, anti-Sikh riots victims and the convicts.
Trial court order

A trial court in Delhi had acquitted Mr. Kumar in the case while awarding a life term to former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

It also awarded a three-year jail term to two others — former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar. The convicts had challenged their conviction and sentencing by the trial court in May 2013.

The case relates to the murder of five members of a family at Raj Nagar in Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The CBI had, in its appeal against the trial court verdict, alleged they were engaged in “a planned communal riot and “religious cleansing”. The CBI and the victims have also appealed against Mr. Kumar’s acquittal.

(With inputs from PTI)

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