HC dismisses Kumar's plea for 30 days to surrender

HC dismisses Kumar's plea for 30 days to surrender

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar appears at the Patiala House Court in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, 3 days after he was convicted in another riots case by High Court, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar for additional 30 days time to surrender to serve sentence of jail term till the remainder of his life in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel declined to entertain the application filed by Kumar.

After a brief hearing, the court rejected his request for additional time till January 30 for settling his family affairs and filing an appeal before the top court.

It said no ground whatsoever was made to grant an extension of deadline of December 31.

In his application filed on Thursday, Kumar said he was in a state of "shock and surprise" with the verdict overturning his acquittal in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and wanted time to settle family affairs.

Kumar had said he has a large family and have to settle the issue of inheritance as well. He said he has one son, two daughters, besides one brother and three sisters and a large number of friends and relatives.

The high court had on December 12 sentenced him to jail for the remainder of life in a case related to the killing of five persons in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He was told to surrender by December 31.

Kumar had resigned from primary membership of Congress party within days after his conviction. 

He said, "it would not be possible to settle family affairs, including that of properties, within a short span of time."

Kumar, who is 73, wanted more time also to file an appeal before the Supreme Court, which is on a winter break. He said at present most of the senior counsel are out on vacation. He is likely to seek stay on the high court verdict till the pendency of his appeal.

A division bench of the high court had held Kumar guilty after reversing his acquittal by a Delhi court in 2013. The high court found that Kumar escaped prosecution all these years due to political patronage facilitated by the law enforcement agencies. 

The high court also held the mass killings in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984 were in fact crimes against humanity.