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Former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar was on Monday sentenced to life-time imprisonment for his role in the 1984-anti Sikh riots has resigned from the party.

In his resignation letter sent to the party chief Rahul Gandhi, Kumar wrote that with immediate effect he was submitting “his resignation fropm the primary membership of the Indian National Congress in the wake of the judgement of the Delhi high court”.

Kumar intends to move an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court verdict.

The lawyer  said that since the high court verdict was over 200 pages long, time was required to apply the mind and thereafter, they will move the apex court.

Advocate Anil Sharma, who represented Kumar in the high court, said the 73-year old Congress leader has been given time till December 31, 2018 to surrender and efforts would be made to challenge the conviction and the sentence before that.

If no appeal would be filed before December 31, Kumar would surrender, Sharma said.

On Monday, Sajjan Kumar was convicted and sentenced to life term for the ‘remainder of his life’ for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by the Delhi High Court. In its verdict, the court said that the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage”.

The high court said though it was “undeniable” that it took over three decades to punish the accused in the case, it was important to assure the victims that despite the challenges faced by the court, “truth will prevail and justice will be done”.

The case pertains to killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar part-I area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar part II.

The high court directed  Kumar and other five convicts to surrender by December 31, 2018 and not to leave the city of Delhi.

Six accused, including Sajjan Kumar, who was a Member of Parliament at that time, were sent for trial in 2010 and three years later, the lower court had convicted five of the accused but acquitted the Congress leader of all the charges.

—India Legal Bureau

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