New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday suspended the trial of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that took place in the aftermath of then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
An apex court bench of the Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan stayed the trial court proceedings till July 27 on Sajjan Kumar’s petition challenging a high court order.
The Delhi High Court had directed the trial court not to pronounce any verdict in the case but allowed the proceedings to go on.
The high court July 3, while directing the listing of the matter July 27, said: “It is expected that the additional sessions judge will not pronounce the final judgment in the case during the pendency of the present petition.”
The apex court order said: “Considering the fact that the high court has to hear all the parties in the revision, we direct the trial judge not to proceed till July 27. All the parties are at liberty to put forth their respective claim/stand before the high court on July 27 and the high court is free to pass appropriate orders as to continuance of the interim protection beyond July 27. Inasmuch as the matter has a long history, we request the high court to dispose of the revision (petition) either way at an early date without further adjournment.”
Appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation, counsel D.P. Singh and Trannum Cheema described Sajjan Kumar’s plea as an attempt to delay the proceedings. “This is nothing but an effort to delay,” said a CBI counsel.
The CBI counsel told the court that in August 2010, the trial court was asked to complete the trial within six months. Then it was asked to wrap up the proceedings in one year which ended September 2011.
Sajjan Kumar has challenged the refusal by the trial court to present the evidence that was tendered by one of the victims and key witness, Jagdish Kaur, before the Justice Ranganath Commission and the Justice Nanavati Commission which probed the riots.
The trial court June 2 declined Sajjan Kumar’s plea to allow the use of the statements and affidavits of the complainant for cross examining her.
Sajjan Kumar’s plea was opposed by the investigating agency which contended that Jagdish Kaur’s deposition before the commission of inquiries could not be used in the trial court proceedings.