A breather for Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is likely to escape arrest today despite a non-bailable warrant being issued by a Delhi court against him.
The court, which also used strong words to decry Sajjan Kumar's non-appearance, has given the CBI time till February 23 to produce Sajjan Kumar and other accused before it. The ball is in the CBI court, but the investigative agency is unlikely to seek his custody, as its investigation is complete.
There appeared a strong likelihood of Sajjan's arrest on Wednesday when the Delhi High Court refused to stop his arrest while it deferred hearing on his anticipatory bail plea till tomorrow.
Soon thereafter, the trial court issued the non-bailable warrant.
Sajjan was scheduled to appear before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Karkardooma, on summons issued by the court on February 1, at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday. But he did not turn up and his lawyer sought exemption from personal appearance as he said Sajjan's bail plea was pending before the High Court.
The Karkardooma court dismissed this petition, observing that as the High Court did not issue a stay order, Sajjan and five other accused were duty bound to appear before the court "which they have miserably failed to do".
The High Court will give verdict on Sajjan's plea for bail on Thursday.
The CBI had chargesheeted 13 people, including Kumar, on January 13 in two separate 1984 riots cases for allegedly making provocative speeches, leading to the killing of 12 people in the violence that broke out following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The probe agency had filed chargesheets in court after concluding its investigation into the cases registered on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission in 2005.
The Delhi court had ordered Sajjan Kumar to appear in person in connection with the two separate cases. Sajjan has sought anticipatory bail in both cases. The trial court had on February 15 refused to grant him anticipatory bail. .
The anticipatory bail plea of seven other co-accused has been rejected.