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1984 anti-Sikh riots case: Delhi court to record prosecution evidence against Sajjan Kumar

New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on Thursday listed a case of anti-Sikh riots against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for prosecution evidence for rioting and other charges. The court had discharged Sajjan Kumar from the offence of murder.
This matter pertains to two cases of riots in Janakpuri and Vikaspuri areas in 1984.

Special judge (MP-MLA cases) MK Nagpal listed the matter for prosecution evidence on October 12.

The court discharged Sajjan Kumar on August 23 and the trial will proceed for other offences related to rioting etc.
The Janakpuri case pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on November 1, 1984. And second case was registered in Vikaspuri police station related to the burning of Gurcharan Singh on November 2, 1984.

The Court had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar under sections of IPC 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (offence is committed by any member of unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly), 153 (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class), 307 (attempt of murder), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide), 323 (deals with punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 395 (Punishment for Dacoity) and 426 (Punishment for mischief) etc.

However, the court ordered to discharge him for the offences under section 302 (Punishment for Murder) and 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Special Judge MK Nagpal while ordering the framing of charges stated that "This court is of prima facie view that the oral and documentary evidence placed on record by the prosecution is sufficient to hold that an unlawful assembly or mob consisting of hundreds of persons and armed with deadly weapons like dandas, iron rods, bricks and stones etc. had gathered near the Gurudwara situated in Gulab Bagh, Nawada on November 1, 1984."

The court noted that the accused Sajjan Kumar was also a part of the said mob and the common object of the said mob was to put the above-mentioned Gurudwara on fire and to burn and loot the articles lying therein and also to burn and destroy the houses of Sikhs situated in the said locality, to damage, destroy or loot their articles or property and to kill the Sikhs residing in that locality, in order to avenge the killing of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Hence, a prima facie case is held to be made out against the accused/Sajjan Kumar for the commission of the offences punishable under sections 147/148/149/ 153A/295/307/308/323/325/395/436 IPC and charges are accordingly directed to be framed against him for the said offences.
Further, in the alternative, a charge for the offence of abetment defined by Section 107 IPC and made punishable by Section 109 r/w 114 IPC in relation to the above-said offences is also directed to be framed against the accused as the accused being principal abettor was present at the scene of the crime, when the offences abetted by him were committed by the other unknown offenders.

However, as far as the offences committed during the incident dated November 2, 1984, which relate to the murder of Sohan Singh and Avtar Singh at the hands of members of the mob or crowd, which had gathered on that date near or outside the Congress party office in Uttam Nagar, and also the injuries suffered by complainant Harvinder Singh in the said incident, are concerned, the accused is being discharged for the offences under sections 302 and 325 IPC respectively committed in the said incident for the reasons already discussed in this order, court said.

Manish Rawat, Gaurav Singh, Addl. Public Prosecutors represented the prosecution/CBI in the matter and Anil Kumar Sharma and S A Hashmi, and Anuj Sharma counsels appeared for Sajjan Kumar in the matter.

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