On 13th May, the Supreme Court has refused to grant interim bail on medical grounds to the former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar who is serving life imprisonment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy, while holding proceedings via video conferencing has refused to grant interim bail after perceiving Sajjan’s medical examination report, prepared by a panel of doctors from AIIMS which said he didn’t need hospitalization. Further, the bench said that the matter will be taken up for hearing in July.
Although Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Kumar said that his client was produced before the AIIMS board and was examined and then he came back to jail. “After that, he could not be produced in AIIMS due to COVID-19. Tomorrow, if my client dies, his life sentence will automatically get converted to a death sentence,” Singh submitted.
To this CJI responded “Don’t say that. At the moment, we don’t want to decide on his bail application.”
Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, opposed Kumar’s plea, saying, “It’s a case genocide and he was leading a mob.” Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for some riot’s victims, also opposed the bail plea stating they were not entitled to it under the rules.
Further, the Bench also refused to grant parole to convicts Balwan Khokhar and Mahender Yadav. While Khokhar is serving life imprisonment in Tihar jail, Yadav has been given 10-year imprisonment by the Delhi High Court on 17th December 2018, 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 31st October 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards.