In a reprieve for Sajjan Kumar, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed trial proceedings against the Congress leader facing murder and other charges in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan also issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on Kumar's appeal challenging his prosecution.
The high court had on July 19 refused to quash various charges, including that of murder against him, saying the delay in prosecution has apparently benefited him.
Kumar, a former Outer Delhi MP, is facing prosecution in two cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against Sikh community in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.
"The interest of justice requires that the offences allegedly committed by accused persons are expeditiously tried to preserve the rule of law in the society," the high court had said while directing the trial court to hold the proceedings against him expeditiously in the riots cases.
The trial court had in May this year framed charges under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to property), 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC paving the way for trial of Kumar and five others.
The CBI had accused Kumar of provoking people against members of a particular community during the carnage that led to the killing of five persons in Delhi Cantonment area.
Besides Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.
CBI had filed two chargesheets against Kumar and others on January 13 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission, which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.
The trial court had on July seven framed charges against the politician in another case in connection with the anti-Sikh riots.