New Delhi | For the third time in a row, the CBI has filed closure report in a case against senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in connection with 1984 anti-Sikh riots in a Delhi court, which issued notice to the victim today. The filing of the closure report by the investigating agency was protested by the victim’s counsel, who asked why was this done secretly.
CBI said it has conducted further probe in the case, as directed by a sessions court, and filed a closure report in the matter. In April 2013, CBI was directed by a sessions court to further investigate the case as it set aside its earlier closure report. Tytler had earlier got clean-chit twice from the CBI which had closed the case. The latest closure report was filed before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate who marked it to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Saurabh Pratap Singh Laler.
ACMM Laler issued notice for March 27 to the victim and complainant, Lakhvinder Kaur, whose husband Badal Singh was killed during the 1984 riots. The court said perusal of record revealed that the cancellation report was also filed earlier as regards accused Jagdish Tytler. Accordingly, court notice be issued to Lakhvinder Kaur regarding present closure report in view of judgment of the Supreme Court…. for March 27, the ACMM said.
Senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing the riot victims, expressed displeasure over the CBI’s move of filing the closure report. Why is it being done so secretly? Even the complainant has not been informed about it. It has been filed secretly. This shows an attempt has been made to get the closure report accepted by the court in hush-hush manner, Phoolka said.
He said the closure report was filed on December 24, 2014 and he had come to know about it today itself and that too, unofficially through another lawyer, while the victim has not been informed till now. The sessions court on April 10, 2013 had set aside CBI’s closure report giving clean chit to Tytler and ordered reopening of investigation into the killing of three persons. CBI had earlier opposed the plea for further probe as the court found fault with the investigation by the agency which had not examined the available witnesses.
Court had directed CBI to also record the statements of witnesses, about whom it had come to know during the probe and who had claimed to be eye witnesses to the incident. The court had said that CBI had an obligation to record the statements of three US-based persons, whose names were taken by an eye witness who had claimed that they too were present at the site.
The court’s 2013 order had come on a plea by the riot victims against the CBI giving a clean chit to Tytler and filing a closure report. The victims had sought the court’s direction to the CBI to further probe the case to ascertain Tytler’s alleged role in the riots. The CBI had, however, sought dismissal of the victim’s plea saying the probe has made it clear that Tytler was not present on November 1, 1984 at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed during the riots and was rather at Teen Murti Bhawan, where Indira Gandhi’s body was lying in state.
Tytler’s alleged role in the case relating to the killing of three persons — Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh — near Gurudwara Pulbangash was re-investigated by the CBI after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report. Another accused Suresh Kumar Paniwala, who faced trial for the offences of murder and inciting the mob during the riots, was acquitted by a Delhi court in 2014. CBI had again given a clean chit to Tytler on April 2, 2009 claiming lack of evidence against him in the case pertaining to the murder of three persons on November 1, 1984, in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
However, on April 27, 2010, a magistrate had accepted CBI’s closure report in the case against Tytler, saying there was no evidence to put him on trial. The court had allowed CBI’s closure report saying Tytler was present at Teen Murti Bhawan and was not at the spot of crime and the agency’s contentions were justified by material, including visual tapes and versions of independent witnesses. Some of the witnesses had alleged that during the riots, Tytler was instigating the mob to kill Sikhs, a charge strongly refuted by him.
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