New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday fixed March 14 for hearing final arguments of CBI in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and five others are facing trial.

District Judge J R Aryan could not hear the arguments of senior advocate R S Cheema, appearing for CBI, as the lawyers at the Karkardooma Court complex were observing a day long strike.

CBI had commenced final arguments in the case on March 31, last year and the counsel for the accused had concluded their final arguments on February 4. The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.

The Delhi High Court in February 2010 had ordered quick disposal of all pending 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, including that of Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, and had said that they should be concluded within six months in the lower courts. Vinod Kumar Bhardwaj, Shahdara Bar Association Secretary, said that the advocates were abstaining from judicial work for one day due to vehicles parking issue with the District Judge (East) P S Teji.

Sajjan Kumar is facing trial along with five others - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in Delhi Cantonment area. The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. The Delhi police had earlier probed the riots cases and the investigation was handed over to CBI in 2005.

The counsel for accused had contended that there were several contradictions in the statements of the witnesses. They had questioned the conduct of complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur, who had lost her family members in the riots. CBI had earlier told the court there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during the riots. It had said the police had acted in a pre-planned manner during the riots and kept its "eyes closed" to the wide-spread violence.

The trial court had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and the five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC.


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