SC rejects 1984 riots case convict Sajjan Kumar’s plea for interim bail on health grounds
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Kumar, argued that interim bail be granted on health grounds as Kumar has been in jail for 20 months and has lost nearly 16 kg weight
The Supreme Court Friday dismissed the plea of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is serving life imprisonment in an 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking interim bail on health grounds.
“Sorry. We are not inclined. Dismissed,” a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Kumar, argued that interim bail be granted to Kumar on health grounds as he has been in jail for 20 months, has lost nearly 16 kg weight and needs to recover from past ailments.
Singh said Kumar would abide by all the conditions which would be imposed by the court.
Senior advocate HS Phoolka, who has been appearing for some of the riots victims, opposed the plea and said the required treatment is already being given to Kumar at hospital.
"We will hear you finally someday but cannot grant you bail like this," said the bench, also comprising Justice AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
“We are not treating the judgement (of the Delhi High Court which convicted and sentenced Kumar in the case) as faulty merely because it has reversed earlier verdict. We will hear you finally someday,” the bench said.
Kumar is serving life imprisonment after the Delhi High Court had convicted him and others in the case on 17 December, 2018.
The high court had reversed the acquittal of Kumar by the trial court in 2013 in the case related to the killings of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar Part-I area in Palam Colony in southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.
The riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.
On 13 May, the apex court had dismissed the plea by Kumar who had sought interim bail or parole on health grounds, saying he did not need hospitalization as per medical report at the moment.
In its verdict, the high court had convicted and sentenced Kumar to imprisonment for "remainder of his natural life" in the case saying the riots were a "crime against humanity" perpetrated by those who enjoyed "political patronage" and aided by an "indifferent" law enforcement agency.
The SC on 11 January had stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse. The committee was given two months to study the laws and consult all stakeholders
The ruling of the Supreme Court is reminiscent of the jurisprudential baggage that India has been carrying since partition
The apex court has also imposed costs of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner, which was filed by former UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi