Sajjan Kumar’s trial: Delhi High court reverts trial court’s decision on victim’s testimonies before commission
Published: August 4, 2012
New Delhi (August 03, 2012): The Delhi High court today accepted Congress leader, and accused of 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi, Sajjan Kumar’s plea to let him use the statements of a 1984 genocidal violence victim, that were made to judicial commissions, to defend himself.
Setting aside the trial court’s June 02, 2012 decision which had dismissed Kumar’s plea, Justice Pratibha Rani asked all the parties to appear before the trial court on August 06, 2012.
Sajjan Kumar had moved the high court during the summer vacation after being denied permission to use victim Bibi Jagdish Kaur’s statements to various judicial commissions, which had probed the November 1984 massacres of Sikhs.
The trial court had dismissed Kumar’s plea on June 02, 2012 saying that Bibi Jagdish Kaur’s statements to judicial commissions cannot be used for any purpose, including that for discrediting her testimony or to impeach her credibility.
As per media reports Sajjan Kumar, in his plea had said the affidavits and statements of the complainant and key witness Jagdish Kaur given earlier to the judicial commissions that probed the incidents of massacre of Sikhs should be allowed to be used to confront her with her recent testimony in the ongoing trial.
The former Delhi MP and genocide accused, Sajjan Kumar, had filed an application saying the CBI prosecutor RS Cheema on July 12, 2010 had told the court that Kaur’s affidavits and statement to GT Nanavati and Justice Ranganath Mishra Commissions cannot be used because of contradictions.
The CBI had said as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, the affidavits and statements of a witness given before any commission cannot be used against her for the purpose of questioning her testimony.
Sajjan Kumar had contended that if the prosecution and the witness could use the affidavits filed before Ranganath Commission and Nanavati Commission, then there is no law which forbids him from confronting them.
He is facing trial along with Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal for his alleged role in the killings of six people in Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 carnage which was planned and executed by Congress leadership and high-ups in Indian administration after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October, 1984.
Sajjan Kumar is accused of leading and instigating a mob to attack and kill the Sikhs.
The case against Kumar was lodged on the recommendation by the Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and others in January 2010, more than 25 years after the November 1984 massacre.
The trial court, which is presently recording statements of witnesses, had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and five others in 2010 under sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC.
Delhi High court’s decision has disappointed the victim survivors who are waiting for justice for last 28 years.
It is notable that On July 3, 2010, Jagdish Kaur, during her cross examination in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta identified Sajjan Kumar as a person instigating the mob during the massacre. Along with Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Kaur identified Sajjan Kumar’s nephew Balwant Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal as accomplices. She told the court that she had made the same statements before all authorities, be it Nanavati Commission, CBI or the magistrate in Punjab but persons/officials who were writing down her statements, noted it differently.