New Delhi :
The Delhi High court on Friday rejected Sajjan Kumar's plea seeking more time to surrender after he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Following his conviction in the case, the High Court had ordered him to surrender by December 31. On Thursday, Sajjan Kumar had moved an application before the Delhi High Court and sought a month’s time to surrender, saying that he has eight grandchildren and needs time to settle personal matters. However, a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said it saw no grounds to grant him the relief and dismissed the plea.
On December 17, the same bench had found the 73-year-old former Congress leader guilty of killing five Sikhs in Delhi a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. The court observed that the mass killings of Sikhs between November 1 and 4, 1984 in Delhi and the rest of the country in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination was “carnage of unbelievable proportions”.
“What happened in the aftermath of the assassination of the then PM was carnage of unbelievable proportions in which over 2,700 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone. Law and order clearly broke down and it was literally a free for all situation. Aftershocks of that still being felt,” the High Court said while reading out the judgment.
Besides Sajjan Kumar, Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while Kishan Khokkar and former legislator Mahender Yadav have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In October this year, the Delhi High Court had reserved its order on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea challenging Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal by the trial court. The trial court had acquitted Kumar but awarded life sentence to former Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal.
More than 3,000 Sikhs were brutally killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were accused of masterminding the riots.