SC rejects Sajjan’s plea to quash murder charge

ind1New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s plea for quashing the murder charge framed against him by the trial court in a case relating to the 1984 Sikh genocide in Delhi’s Sultanpuri area.

A Bench comprising Justices AK Patnaik and V Gopalagowda ruled that the trial court was right in framing charges against Sajjan as he had not been tried so far for the murder of one Surjeet Singh along with six other victims on November 1, 1984.

Sajjan had come to the Supreme Court challenging the framing of the charges by the trial court on July 7, 2010 and the dismissal of his appeal by the Delhi High Court on July 16, 2013.

Dismissing Kumar’s plea, the high court had affirmed the trial court’s order, saying charges could be framed if there is a strong suspicion leading the court to think there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed the offence.

The high court had also rejected the pleas of Sajjan’s co-accused Ved Prakash and Brahmanand Gupta challenging the framing of charges against them.

The Congress leader had contended that he had already been acquitted in a similar case from the Sultanpuri area on December 23, 2002 and as such framing charges of murder and rioting against him in another case from the same area would amount to subjecting him to re-trial. Law clearly de-barred re-trial for the same offence from the same area, he had pleaded.

CBI counsel DP Singh, however, contended that the charges against him pertained to the killing of Surjeet Singh for which he was never put on trial.

The CBI had reopened the case on the recommendation of the Justice GT Nanavati Commission that had gone into the riots. The commission had clearly recommended reopening of all those cases where Sajjan’s name figured. Today, the Supreme Court also rejected similar pleas by Sajjan’s co-accused Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash.

The CBI had filed two chargesheets against Sajjan and others in January 2010 in the cases registered in 2005.

The trial court recently acquitted Sajjan in one of the cases relating to Delhi Cantonment in which five accused persons were convicted. Recording of prosecution evidence by the trial court has been slated for December 11.

SAD welcomes decision:

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday welcomed the SC verdict on Sajjan in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. SAD secretary and spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said in Chandigarh the verdict had rekindled hope among the Sikhs years after they were denied justice. Even after 30 years of the crime, justice had been denied to them because of open support of the Congress to the prime accused, he said. “The accused leaders have been playing tricks with the judiciary by misusing the legal procedure only to delay the trial,” he said.

Source: The Tribune

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