Supreme Court judge, Justice Sanjiv Khanna recused himself today from hearing the bail plea of 1984 anti-Sikh riots convict, Sajjan Kumar. Justice Khanna indicated that he had heard Sajjan Kumar’s petition, when he was a judge of the Delhi High Court.
Sajjan Kumar has challenged the High Court verdict, sentencing him to life imprisonment in the riots case.
The Delhi High Court had reversed the trial court order, which had acquitted the former Congress legislator on April 30, 2013. The High Court found him guilty of the murders, following the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel had made clear that Sajjan Kumar’s term in jail will be for the remainder of his life.
The court held Sajjan Kumar guilty of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acting against communal harmony.
The former Congress leader was sentenced in connection with the killing of five Sikhs – Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvendra Singh, Narendra Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh – all belonging to the same family, in southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984. He was also found guilty of burning down of a gurudwara in the same area.
Earlier in January, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the CBI on Sajjan Kumar’s appeal challenging the High Court verdict. The bench headed by Chief Justice Of India, Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sanjay Krishan Kaul sought response from the CBI on plea seeking suspension of sentence.