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Noose Tightens: No relief for Sajjan Kumar from HC

The Delhi high court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and two others — Ved Prakash Pial alias Vedu Pradhan and Brahmanand Gupta — who had challenged framing of charges of murder and rioting against them by a trial court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Justice Suresh Kait refused to quash charges framed against them in the case relating to the killings of six persons in Sultanpuri area in the wake of assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The court also dismissed the cross-appeal of complainant Sheela Kaur who sought to invoke charges of criminal conspiracy against Kumar and the others charged in the case. She also opposed the plea to drop charges against Kumar.

Kumar and two others had challenged the order of a trial court of July 2010 which had said that in view of the statement of witnesses and documents relied upon by the prosecution, there were sufficient grounds for presuming that the incident dated 01.11.1984 resulted on account of provocative speeches made by Kumar infront of the mob gathered in Sultanpuri area.
The order had further said that Kumar instigated the mob and other accused persons, who were members of unlawful assembly, resulting into robbery, burning of properties and killing members of people, including Surjeet Singh.

The trial court had said that there were sufficient grounds for framing charges against Kumar for offences punishable under Section 109, read with Sections 147, 148, 149, 153A, 302, 436 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code and substantive offences thereof. The trial court had said that other accused persons were liable to be charged for the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 149, 153A, 302, 436 and 295.

Consequently, Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash Pial were charged with rioting, murder and destruction of property, amongst other things.
The Congress leader and two co-accused, Gupta and Pial alias Vedu Pradhan, moved the Delhi High Court in 2010.

CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence. A lower court had recently acquitted Kumar in another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

However, five other accused were held guilty for offences including murder and for being a part of the mob that killed five Sikhs at Delhi Cantonment.
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