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What was state machinery doing during 1984 riots, says HC while hearing CBI plea against Sajjan Kumar

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High Court today wondered what the was doing during the 1984 riots as one of the incidents of killing of Sikhs occurred right next to the area.

A bench of Acting and Justice said had the cases related to the riots, which followed the assassination of the then Indira Gandhi, been dealt properly, it would not have been hearing the issue now.

The observation by the bench came while hearing the CBI's appeal against Sajjan Kumar's acquittal in the murder of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar area of on November 1, 1984.

"What was the doing? The incidents happened right next to the Delhi Cantonment," the court said.

Amit Sibal, appearing for Kumar, told the court there was no direction by the Justice G T to re-investigate the instant case against Kumar.

D P Singh and H S Phoolka, representing the riot victims, told the court that after receiving the report, Parliament had decided to re-investigate the instant case against Kumar.

The arguments remained inconclusive and are expected to continue on July 19.

Kumar had earlier told the high court that there was no allegation against him of instigating a mob against Sikhs after Indira Gandhi's assassination.

While Kumar was acquitted in the case by the trial court, former Balwan Khokhar, retired Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty.

The trial court had awarded life term in May 2013 to Khokhar, and Girdhari Lal and a three-year jail term to two others - former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar. They have challenged their conviction and jail terms awarded by the trial court.

The in its appeal has also sought enhancement of sentence of the convicts, alleging that all of them were engaged in "a planned communal riot" and "religious cleansing".

The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notice to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav, in five other 1984 anti-riots cases in which they had been acquitted by the trial court.

The accused, who were acquitted of the charges, were asked why the court should not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they faced allegations of "horrifying crimes against humanity".

Earlier, the bench had sought a reply from Kumar on a letter purportedly written to it by the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee claiming that the accused in the case have confessed to being present at the spot where the violent incidents had occurred.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 19:35 IST