Business Standard

Delhi HC directs AAP govt to decide 1984 riots convict's plea for parole


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court Monday directed the AAP government to decide the parole plea of Balwan Khokhar, who along with former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Justice A K Chawla asked the Delhi government to decide on Khokhar's plea within two weeks after the end of the ongoing Lok Sabha election.
The direction came after the Delhi government told the court that due to enforcement of the model code of conduct during elections, prisoners cannot be released during the poll period.
Khokhar has sought a parole to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order of December 17, 2018.
The high court on December 17 last year had set aside the trial court's verdict, which acquitted Kumar in a case related to killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar Part-I area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II during that period.
The riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.
The high court, in its verdict, had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by the trial court to the other five -- Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
It had also convicted them for criminal conspiracy to burn down residences of Sikh families and a gurdwara in the area during the riots.
The trial court in 2013 had awarded life term to Balwan Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal, and a three-year jail term to Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
Following the high court verdict, life term of Balwan Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal has been upheld and the sentence of Yadav and Kishan Khokar has been enhanced to 10 years in jail.
The high court, in its judgement, had said that the riots were a "crime against humanity" perpetrated by those who enjoyed "political patronage" and aided by an "indifferent" law enforcement agency.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 8:35 PM IST

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