February 16, 2019:
On Friday, the Delhi High Court sought response of the AAP Government on a petition by Balwan Khokhar, who along with former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 184 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking parole to file an appeal.
Justice Najmi Waziri issued notice to the AAP Government on the petition in which the convict said he wanted parole for a month to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s Dec 17, 2018 verdict.
The High Court on Dec 17, 2018 had set aside the trial court’s verdict which had acquitted Kumar in a case related to killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar Part-I area in Palam Colony in south west Delhi on Nov 1-2, 1984, and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part-II during that period.
The riots had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.
The high court had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by the trial court to the other five – Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
It had also convicted them for criminal conspiracy to burn down residences of Sikh families and a gurdwara in the area during the riots.
The trial court in 2013 had awarded life term to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal, and a three-year jail term to Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
Following the high court verdict, life term of Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal has been upheld and the sentence of Yadav and Kishan Khokar has been enhanced to 10 years in jail.
The High Court in its judgement had said that the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage” and aided by an “indifferent” law enforcement agency.