The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Congress leader Sajjan Kumar to respond to a petition challenging the anticipatory bail granted to him in 2016 in two cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The petition was filed by a Special Investigation Team probing Kumar for allegedly killing two Sikhs – Sohan Singh and his son Avtar Singh – in Delhi’s Janakpuri area during the riots, which broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“It is high time cases like this should be tried and adjudicated at the earliest,” Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said, according to Bar and Bench. The court noted that the case was over 30 years old and yet the High Court wrote “200 pages” while granting Kumar bail when it could have done with “40-50 pages”, PTI reported.
In February, Justice Anu Malhotra of the Delhi High Court upheld a 2016 trial court order that had granting Kumar anticipatory bail in the two cases. Kumar had been available throughout the investigation, she told the Special Investigation Team while passing the order. The SIT had failed to convince the court that the trial court’s order should be cancelled, the judge said.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who is arguing the case for the Special Investigation Team, claimed Kumar could have been arrested if not for the anticipatory bail. “Just before he is summoned, he comes armed with an anticipatory bail order and a battery of lawyers,” Singh told the top court.
He added that the High Court had initially said everything would be tested during the trial but ended up granting Kumar bail citing lack of evidence. “This is totally contrary to the established procedure of law,” Singh said.