The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass any orders in an interim bail application filed by 1984 anti-Sikh violence convict and former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, Bar and Bench reported. In 2018, Kumar was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the violence.
Kumar’s lawyer, Vikas Singh, asked the court to grant his client interim bail on medical grounds, as he may be suffering from cancer. “If tomorrow Kumar dies, then his life imprisonment will automatically get converted to death penalty,” Singh claimed before a bench of Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, and Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation, opposed the plea, on the basis that Kumar had committed “genocide”.
The court said it does not wish to decide on the petition at this time. “We will consider your bail application in July, not now, sorry,” the bench said according to NDTV. It added that according to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences board of directors, Kumar does not need to be admitted to hospital.
The Delhi High Court in December 2018 had sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment, and held him guilty of murder, promoting enmity between groups, and defiling public property. The High Court verdict had reversed a lower court’s 2013 ruling that had acquitted Kumar. He was sent to jail after he surrendered before a trial court on December 31. Kumar resigned from the Congress after his conviction.
Riots broke out in New Delhi on October 31, 1984, following the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Mobs, allegedly helped by some Congress leaders, began attacking Sikhs and torching their homes. Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone.