The Delhi High Court on Monday sentenced Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced him to imprisonment for life in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel also convicted Sajjan Kumar for the offences of abetment, delivering speeches instigating violence against Sikhs and disrupting communal harmony, saying "truth will prevail and justice will be done".
The court said the life sentence awarded to the Congress leader would be for the "remainder of his life" and directed him to surrender by December 31.
Here's the reactions from the leaders of different political parties on the Delhi High Court's verdict-
FM Arun Jaitley on Sajjan Kumar:
"Judgement of Delhi High Court is an extremely welcome development. For many of us who are witnesses, it was perhaps the worst kind of genocide that we ever saw. Congress govts in that period repeatedly indulged in coverup exercises."
"The coverups are now being defeated. Sajjan Kumar was a symbol of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The legacy of 1984 anti-Sikh riots hangs around the neck of Congress and Gandhi family."
"Ye vidambna hai ki ye aaya uss din hai ki jab Sikh samaj jis doosre neta ko doshi maanta hai, Congress ussey mukhyamantri ki shapath dila rahi hai."
Sunil Jakhar, Congress:
"No one is above law. Those involved in this crime should be given strictest punishment. Law has taken its own course. It'll strengthen people's trust in law. Any person who has been convicted in such cases should quit their political life."
Sambit Patra, BJP:
"Rahul Gandhi should resign as Congress' chief. Kamal Nath ji's name crops up along with affidavit & evidence in a report submitted to Nanavati Commission. A man involved in anti-Sikh riots has been made the MP CM. Mr Rahul Gandhi must expel him from the party."
HS Phoolka, one of the petitioners in 1984 anti-Sikh riot case:
"Court has clearly stated that political patronage was provided to Sajjan Kumar and other convicts."
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal:
"I want to thank PM Narendra Modi that on Akali Dal's request in 2015 he set up an SIT to probe 1984 massacre. It's a historic judgement. Wheels of justice have finally moved."
"It is Sajjan Kumar today, it will be Jagdish Tytler tomorrow then Kamal Nath and eventually the Gandhi family."
“Congress leaders, at the behest of the PM, went to Sikh houses along with police. Even today when I think of all that happened, it gives me goosebumps. Children were crying, they could not utter a word. I still remember it today."
"Khoon ka badla khoon, jab ek bada darakht girta hai to dharti hilti hi hai.' When a PM says these words on national television...we were trying to protect ourselves&were saved by the almighty. Thousands of innocent were brutally killed before their families."
Bikram Singh Majithia, Akali Dal:
"Like in the case of Christian Michel where Congress lawyers were representing him, Congress party senior intervention is done only when some sort of Gandhis’ interest is there. Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal is the main lawyer for Sajjan Kumar."
Prem Singh Chandumajra, Akali Dal:
"Innocent Sikhs were killed and the riots should be declared as a genocide. Everybody should welcome the court's verdict. Someone (Kamal Nath) facing allegations of being part of the riots is going to become the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh."
Omar Abdullah, National Conference:
"Justice delayed but not denied."
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi:
"It should not be linked to the political atmosphere prevailing in the country. The law should take its course, there are appeals."
"There have been verdicts in the past where people have been found guilty, while others have been absolved. This should not be politicised and political benefit should not be derived from this."
Congress leader Kapil Sibal:
"Sajjan Kumar does not hold a position of power in the party. What decision has been taken by the court is a legal process. We have seen how cover up is going on in the Sohrabuddin case. And what about Justice Loya's death?
"Don't give it a political colour as it is a court decision."