The Delhi High Court has reversed the trial court’s order acquitting Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and has held him guilty.Sajjan Kumar has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The court has directed him to surrender by December 31, 2018, and has also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him and Rs 1 lakh on all other accused in the case.
The high court was hearing the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, challenging a trial court’s judgement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Kumar was acquitted.
A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel also made clear that Kumar’s life imprisonment will be for remainder of his life. It held Kumar guilty of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity, and acts against communal harmony.
Former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were also held guilty in the case relating to the murder of five members of a Sikh family in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984.
The riots broke out after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Who is Sajjan Kumar
Sajjan Kumar is a senior politician from the Congress who has been active in Delhi politics since the late 1970s. Kumar first tasted victory in the local municipal election in 1977 and was elected as a councillor. Sajjan later became a member of Parliament on a Congress ticket in 2004 when the UPA came to power after routing the Atal Bihar Vajpayee-led NDA. He won from the outer Delhi parliamentary seat.