NEW DELHI, India—Finally, the Sajjan Kumar’s plea challenging the life term awarded to him by the Delhi High Court was taken up by the Supreme Court’s bench headed by Justice SA Bobde and Justice SA Nazeer on March 15. It is notable here that the Supreme Court Judge Sanjiv Khanna, who was earlier appointed to take up the petition, had recused himself from hearing the plea on February 25.
During the hearing, the CBI opposed Sajjan Kumar’s plea by submitting an affidavit in which it said that Sajjan Kumar has been using his large political clout to derail the trial and influence witnesses.
Requesting the Court to quash Sajjan Kumar’s plea,the CBI said that Sajjan Kumar is capable of influencing or terrorizing witnesses in the case pending against him, if he is granted bail.
“The murders witnessed during the 1984 Sikh genocide fell under the category of crime against humanity on parity with well-known genocides worldwide like the large scale killing of Armenians by Kurds and Turks, mass extermination of Jews by Nazis, mass killing of Bangladeshi citizens by the sympathizers of Pakistani Army and mass killing during various ethnic riots within India also,” the CBI argued.
“The minority community was targeted by spearheaded attacks of dominant political actors like the applicant/convict (Kumar) and duly facilitated by law enforcement agencies,” CBI said.
“It took 34 valuable years of legal battle and courage shown by fearless witnesses/victims, which has resulted in his conviction and no leniency, therefore, on the ground of age should be granted,” read the CBI affidavit.
It may be recalled here that Sajjan Kumar was imprisoned for life by the Delhi High Court on December 17 in a case pertaining to brutal killing of five members of a Sikh family in the Raj Nagar of Delhi’s cantonment area on November 1, 1984. He had challenged the Delhi High Court’s verdict of convicting him till death on December 23 last year. The prosecution lawyer Advocate HS Phoolka was informed about the Sajjan Kumar’s petition by the Supreme Court via registered post.
Later, Sajjan Kumar had to surrender before a Delhi trial court on December 31 last year to serve life sentence awarded to him by the Delhi High Court as the his plea couldn’t be taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court of India.