Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who has been awarded a life sentence by the Delhi High Court in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, surrendered before the Karkardooma Court on Monday. The court directed that Kumar is sent to Mandoli jail in northeast Delhi. On December 17, the Delhi High Court had overturned the acquittal granted to Kumar by a trial court and awarded him a life sentence and a fine of Rs 5 lakh in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
The 73-year-old former Congress leader was sentenced to life for the "remainder of his natural life" by the Delhi High Court.
The case relates to the 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. Riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.
The high court had on December 21 rejected Kumar's plea seeking extension till January 30 to surrender. The former Congress leader had sought more time to surrender, saying he had to settle the family affairs related to his children and property and also needs time to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the high court verdict.
Sharma said they have removed the objections in their appeal filed in the apex court but since the court was on vacation till January 1, it was not likely to be taken up for hearing by December 31 and also the chances of mentioning for the urgent listing of the appeal was not there.
Senior advocate H S Phoolka, who is representing the riots victims, had earlier said that they had already filed a caveat in the apex court to pre-empt any ex-parte hearing in favour of Kumar.
The high court had set aside the trial court's 2010 verdict which had acquitted Kumar in the case. The six accused, including Kumar who was a Member of Parliament at that time, were sent to be tried in 2010.
The high court had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by the trial court to the other five -- former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
All six, including Kumar, were directed by the high court to surrender by December 31, and not leave Delhi in the mean time.