New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The hearing in the Supreme Court on former Congress leader and 1984 anti-Sikh riot case convict Sajjan Kumar’s plea for bail and suspension of sentence on Monday was adjourned as Justice Sanjiv Khanna recused himself.
Adjourning the hearing, the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Khanna ordered, “List the matter before a Bench, wherein one of us (Sanjiv Khanna, J.) is not a member.”
As soon as the matter was called, Justice Khanna withdrew, saying that he had earlier dealt with the case in the Delhi High Court.
The top court had on February 14 issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on Sajjan Kumar’s plea for bail and suspension of sentence while challenging his conviction.
Sajjan Kumar has challenged the Delhi High Court verdict sentencing him to life imprisonment following his conviction in a case of the killings of Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh, all of one family, in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment by a mob.
Thirty-four years after the gruesome killings, the Delhi High Court on December 17 last year convicted and sentenced Sajjan Kumar to imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life, holding that the violence was a “crime against humanity” engineered by politicians with assistance from police.
It had set aside Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal along with five others saying the “criminals” escaped prosecution and punishment for over two decades.
Sajjan Kumar, in his appeal, has contended that the High Court verdict rested on “erroneous” grounds.
The riots had taken place in the wake of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.