Millennium Post

HC grants bail to 1984 anti-Sikh riots case convict

The Delhi High Court today granted bail for a week to a convict serving life term in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case to enable him look after his wife, who is to undergo an operation next week.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra released former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar on bail as his wife is slated to undergo an operation at the AIIMS on May 15.

While restraining the convict from moving out of Delhi, the bench asked him to surrender immediately after the expiry of a week starting that day. It also asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount.

Khokhar, who is aged, has urged the court to release him on two-month bail to look after his wife after she undergoes the operation at AIIMS.

His plea was opposed by the CBI on the ground that the convict's conduct in the past was not satisfactory.

Khokhar, a retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty in a case relating to the murder of five members of a family in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

They had challenged their conviction and the award of life sentence by the trial court in May 2013.

The trial court had acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar but awarded life term to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal and three-year jail term to two others former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

The convicts have filed appeals before the High Court while CBI too has filed an appeal alleging that they were engaged in "a planned communal riot" and "religious cleansing". The agency has also appealed against acquittal of Kumar.

The high court had on March 29 issued show cause notices to 11 accused including Khokhar and Yadav in five 1984 anti- Sikh riots cases. The accused, who were acquitted of the charges, were asked why should the court not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they faced allegations of "horrifying crimes against humanity".

The bench had issued notices on the complaints filed regarding the violent incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in Delhi Cantonment area.
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