Crime

Bail extended of convict serving life term in 84 Sikh massacre case

July 05, 2017 09:15 PM

New Delhi:  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended bail granted on medical grounds to an 89-year-old convict serving life term in a case relating to the 1984 Sikh massacre  case.

 "The convict does not deserve any leniency and his application for extension of suspension of sentence may kindly be summarily dismissed with cost in the interest of justice," the agency said while opposing the bail plea. The convict is already on interim bail since March 24 on medical grounds.

A Bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar granted the relief to retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal till July 13 as his plea seeking extension of interim suspension of his sentence is pending and issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In its status report, the agency said that Bhagmal's medical reports showed that he did not have any chronic disease or ailments common at his age.

 "The convict does not deserve any leniency and his application for extension of suspension of sentence may kindly be summarily dismissed with cost in the interest of justice," the agency said while opposing the bail plea. The convict is already on interim bail since March 24 on medical grounds.

Bhagmal, through his counsel, had stated that he was suffering from enlarged prostate, for which he has to undergo surgery that would require him to remain hospitalised.

The Bench had earlier directed Bhagmal to give an address where he could be reached and mobile number on which the CBI can contact him during the interim suspension of his sentence. It had asked the convict not to get in touch with any witness or the legal heirs of the deceased.

"In case, there is a violation of this condition, it will be open to the CBI to move an application for recall of this order," it had said, adding that Bhagmal shall not leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi without its permission 

Bhagmal, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, 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 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

They had challenged their conviction and the sentence awarded by the trial court in May 2013.

The trial court had acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar but awarded life term to Bhagmal, Khokhar 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 filed an appeal alleging that they were engaged in "a planned communal riot" and "religious cleansing". The agency has also appealed against acquittal of Sajjan Kumar.

The high court had on March 29 this year issued show cause notices to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav in five 1984 Sikh massacre 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 the Delhi Cantonment area.

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