1984 Riots: Delhi Court Criticises CBI For Slow Probe In Case Against Jagdish Tytler, Asks It To Pace-Up
1984 Riots: Delhi Court Criticises CBI For Slow Probe In  Case Against Jagdish Tytler, Asks It To Pace-UpJagdish Tytler (Credits: The Hindu)

A Delhi Court on Monday (25 November) pulled up the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over delay in recording of statements of controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma against former Congress leader Jagdish Tyler in connection with the 1984 Sikh riots case.

"Why is it that even though 35 years have elapsed since the incident and many times directions for further investigation have been passed and witnesses have come forward after much hesitation and efforts, the investigating agency is satisfied with the statement under Section 161 which is neither signed by the witness, over which the witness has no control and which is of little evidentiary value?," questioned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM).

The court sought a report from the agency about its observation and slated the matter for hearing on 20 December.

The court observed, "Considering the incident is 35 years old, this Court would expect the investigating agency will show it is sensitised enough to act swiftly and not take more than 15 days in filing a proper report."

The court also said that if the investigating agency wants, it can also record statement of Verma under Section 164 CrPC.

Addressing the issue of threat to Verma, the court said, "I would next want to know from the investigating officer that considering that the witness was threatened while he was already under police protection, is it not possible for other witnesses to feel insecure?"

The matter has been posted for further hearing on 22 May.

Verma, a key witness in this case had filed a complaint with Delhi Police in 2017, requesting them to enhance his police protection following a death threat e-mail.

He is a witness in the case pertaining to the killing of three Sikhs -- Badal Singh, Thakur Singh, and Gurcharan Singh -- at Gurdwara Pulbangash Sahib in North Delhi on 1 November, 1984, a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Earlier in February, noting the sensitive nature of the matter, the court had directed the CBI to expedite investigations into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Tytler was given a clean chit for his alleged role.

The case against Tytler was one of the three cases the Nanavati Commission had ordered to be reopened by the CBI in 2005. Tytler is accused of leading a mob in the 1984 Pul Bangash case in which three Sikhs were killed.

According to official records, about 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi, during the violence that broke out after former PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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