The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant interim bail to Sajjan Kumar, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case convict and former Congress MP who is serving a life term. He had sought interim bail on medical grounds but the court noted that his condition is stable and improving, and appeared incredulous as it questioned his lawyer’s plea – that he be treated at Medanta Hospital at his own cost.
“He is accused of heinous crimes. You want him to be treated like some VIP?” a two-member bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh asked.
Last month too Sajjan Kumar’s lawyer had raised his client’s health issues, claiming that he had lost between eight and 10 kilograms since December 2018. Sajjan Kumar’s lawyer contended that his client “should he immediately be released from jail due to his worsening health conditions”.
The court then had directed the CBI to ascertain Sajjan Kumar’s medical condition, and file an affidavit replying to the interim bail application before September 6.
In September last year too the court had denied bail on medical grounds. A three-member bench that included then Chief Justice SA Bobde said: “It is not a small case. We cannot grant bail.” The court also said the he could not stay in hospital when medical reports say there is no need.
Sajjan Kumar’s appeal against his conviction and the life sentence, the court added, would be heard once physical hearings are resumed; courts have been holding, for the most part, hearings via video conferences due to the Covid lockdown and need to maintain social distancing.
Earlier the Delhi High Court had cancelled an order acquitting him of charges in what the judges called “genocide”. “It is important to assure victims.. the truth will prevail,” the court had said.
The 75-year-old former Congress leader was convicted in the brutal killing of five members of a family in Delhi’s Raj Nagar, and setting a gurdwara on fire on November 1, 1984.
He was the main accused in the case and the parliamentarian of that area at the time.