1984 Accused awarded life imprisonment in a landmark judgment

December 18, 2018 04:20 PM

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been sentenced to life in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by the Delhi High Court after cancelling his acquittal from a lower court.

Kumar has got the life sentence for the murder of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantt in an anti-Sikh riots case of November 1, 1984.

This is the first conviction of a senior Congress leader in the anti-Sikh riots case.

This is a big victory for Jagdish Kaur, anti-Sikh riot victim, as the Delhi HC set aside previous acquittal of Sajjan Kumar. 

Sajjan Kumar was acquitted in the case by Delhi’s Karkardooma court on April 30, 2013.


The Karkardooma court had convicted five people, including then Congress MLA Mahendra Yadav and then Congress councillor Balwan Khoker and sentenced them to life but had acquitted Sajjan Kumar on the basis of doubt.

The HC found no doubt about Kumar’s role and dismissed his acquittal holding him guilty. The case pertained to two survivors Jagdish Kaur and Jagsher Singh who lost family members in Delhi Cant’s Rajnagar area on November 1, 1984, in anti-Sikh carnage after the assassination of former prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

The Delhi High Court has also increased the sentences of two convicts, Giridhari Lal and Capt Bhagmal, from three years to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

The HC found active connivance by police to shield accused, failure to record separate FIRs by the Delhi Police.

The fact of filing closure report suppressed by the Delhi Police, no incident recorded in DDR, it would've been impossible to convict Sajjan Kumar under these scheme of things, special mention about truthfulness of the three persecution witnesses - Jagdish Kaur, Jagsher Singh and Nirpreet Kaur, the court said.

Trial Court failed to note anything on section 120 (B) of the IPC.

The court commented on the need to have a mechanism to tackle riots having genocidal features.

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