STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 8 July
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to CBI and the two persons, who were sentenced to three years in jail for rioting in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking their response on the plea of victims’ families challenging the trial court verdict acquitting them of murder charges.
A bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice G P Mittal sought CBI’s response on the appeal of Jagdish Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur who have challenged the trial court’s 30 April order acquitting ex-MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar from the charges of murder. The respondents have to file their replies by 27 August.
Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in the riots case has also been challenged in the High Court by the victims which is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.
The court also issued notice to the agency on another plea by the victims who are also seeking enhancement of the life sentence, awarded to Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal, to death for the charge of murder. Also, the bench called for the trial court record in the case on the next date of hearing. Appearing for the victims, advocate H S Phoolka, also sought compensation. He said the 30 April verdict is "erroneous" as the trial court failed to appreciate the evidence against the convicts. In their plea against the acquittal order, the victims said, "The trial court has not given any substantial, compelling, good and sufficient reason and ground to acquit the respondents under the charges of murder framed against them."
The petitioners also claimed that despite they being eyewitness to the role of the respondents during the riots, the trial court has acted in a casual manner while pronouncing its verdict.
"The trial court gives finding as to the credibility of these eyewitnesses that they are natural and truthful, but in a cursory manner has acquitted the respondents for such a heinous crime," said the petition.