1984 anti-Sikh riots: SC hears Sajjan Kumar's plea, notifies CBI
On Monday, the Supreme Court examined the plea of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar challenging the life imprisonment sentence handed to him by the Delhi High Court in connection with one 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Having done so, the apex court issued a notification to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding Kumar's plea against his sentence, and his bail plea.
Thousands of Sikhs had lost their lives in the riots
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots resulted in the deaths of around 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi, according to official figures. The riots broke out in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, when mobs led by Congress leaders targeted Sikhs in the capital.
The CBI has been given six weeks to reply
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul heard Kumar's plea on Monday, and issued the notice to the CBI.
The CBI, now, has been asked to reply to the notice within six weeks.
For those unaware, Kumar had been handed a life imprisonment term by the Delhi High Court last month.
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Kumar had been sentenced to life imprisonment on December 17
On December 17, the Delhi HC sentenced Kumar to prison for the "remainder of his natural life", after it found the 73-year-old guilty of murder, promoting enmity between groups, and defiling public property.
In doing so, the Delhi HC overturned a lower court's order that had acquitted Kumar.
During the sentencing, the HC observed that Kumar had escaped justice earlier owing to "political patronage".
The killings that Kumar had been found guilty of
Kumar was sentenced by the Delhi High Court owing to his involvement in the killing of five members of a Sikh family in Raj Nagar, and in the torching of a gurdwara in Delhi on November 1, 1984.
Kumar surrendered on December 31 to serve his sentence
Although the Delhi HC had given Kumar time until December 31 to surrender, the former Congress leader had sought more time surrender.
However, after that was refused, Kumar surrendered before the Karkardooma court on the last day of 2018 to serve his sentence.
He is currently lodged in the Mandoli Jail complex in Delhi amid high security.