Monday, May 20, 2024

1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court seeks CBI’s response on suspension of ex-Councillor Balwan Khokhar’s sentence

The Supreme Court sought response on Tuesday from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on an application filed by former Congress Councillor Balwan Khokhar, one of the convicts in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking suspension of his sentence.

The Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice A.S. Oka, while taking note of the fact that Khokhar has already undergone more than eight years imprisonment in the case so far, besides being 50 per cent handicapped, directed the CBI to file its response within four weeks.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee submitted that the petitioner was granted bail. 

Appearing for Khokhar, Advocate Rakesh Dahiya contended that he was enlarged on interim bail and his regular bail was rejected in 2013.

A trial court had sentenced Khokhar to life imprisonment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Raj Nagar area. His conviction and sentence were upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2018.

The case pertained to the killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar part-I area of Palam Colony in South West Delhi, along with the burning down of a Gurdwara in Raj Nagar part II, on November 1-2, 1984.

The riots had broken out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.

Khokhar had moved the Apex Court against his conviction. In 2020, while the petition was pending, the Supreme Court granted the former Congress Councillor four weeks’ parole to attend the last rites of his father. 

Later in 2020, the Congress leader preferred a petition before the Apex Court seeking interim bail in view of the pandemic. The top court of the country had then issued notice to CBI on the plea.

(Case Title: Balwan Khokhar vs CBI)


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