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Delhi court reserves order on CBI's clean chit to Jagdish Tytler in 1984 riots case

Delhi court reserves order on CBI
Highlights

The Central Bureau of Investigation told a Delhi court on Friday that arms dealer Abhishek Verma was not a \"credible witness\" and on the basis of his statement, no case of influencing witness and making hawala transactions can be lodged against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

The Central Bureau of Investigation told a Delhi court on Friday that arms dealer Abhishek Verma was not a "credible witness" and on the basis of his statement, no case of influencing witness and making hawala transactions can be lodged against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.


Tytler was given a clean chit by the CBI in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

CBI prosecutor argued that no complaint was made before the police regarding allegations that Mr Tytler had influenced any witness, so Mr Verma's statement does not attract any offence under section 195A of the Indian Penal Code against the Congress leader.

Prosecutor P K Srivastava was replying to a court's query as to what efforts have been made by CBI to ascertain claims of Mr Verma that Mr Tytler had influenced a witness and made hawala transactions.

CBI, which has examined Verma as a witness during its further probe in the case, said his statement was "vague" and sought that the agency's closure report be accepted and the riot victims' protest petition dismissed.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S P S Laler reserved the order for November 17 on whether to accept the closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler.

During the arguments, the prosecutor said Verma is an accused in several cases of Enforcement Directorate and the CBI and "he was not a credible witness" and he was not even an eye witness.

"According to Verma, Tytler had pressurised witness Surender Singh to change his statement and depose in his favour. Surender expired and he is not before this court so a case cannot be registered on Verma's statement. If Surender or his son Narender comes to court and says he was threatened, then a case is made out. There is no relevance of Verma's statement," he said.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing the victims, opposed CBI's contentions saying the agency had recorded two statements of Surender Singh and in both of them, he had said that Tytler was present at Gurudwara Pulbangash on the day of the incident.

Regarding the prosecutor's argument that Verma was not a credible witness, he said there was no bar under the law that a person accused in other cases cannot be a witness in another case and his credibility was to be seen by the court.

Phoolka took strong objection to CBI's argument that he was influencing witnesses and said he was ready for any inquiry against him.

"I have been following and associated with riot cases for the past 30 years and that was the reason I have been targeted to silence me," he argued.

Earlier, the riot victims had sought the court's direction to CBI to lodge a First Information Report or FIR against Tytler for the offences of influencing witness and hawala transactions.

The riot victims have filed a protest petition against the clean chit given thrice to Tytler by the CBI, claiming there was ample evidence to prosecute him and accused the agency of favouring him.

Complainant Lakhvinder Kaur, whose husband Badal Singh was killed in the riots, in her protest petition, has challenged the closure report and sought the court's direction to CBI to investigate the matter further to bring on record available "incriminating evidence" against the accused.

Seeking dismissal of the protest petition of riot victims, the CBI had said that during its probe, it has been established that Tytler "was not involved in the incident of attack which took place at Gurdwara Pulbangash on November 1, 1984".

The agency described Tytler as "innocent" and said it cannot "falsely implicate an innocent person" merely on the basis of charged sentiments and to satisfy the ego of some. The main case pertains to riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in north Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

CBI had re-investigated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwara after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept the closure report. Jagdish Tytler has denied any role in the riots.
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