1984 riots: witness to testify in India
Submitting its reply to Jasbir Singh's petition, the CBI said his presence is necessary in India, as the agency needs to confront him with other investigated material on record.delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2008 17:52 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that Jasbir Singh, who claims to be a key witness in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, couldn't testify via video-conferencing from the US, where he is based, and will have to come to India.
Submitting its reply to Jasbir Singh's petition, the CBI said his presence is necessary in India, as the agency needs to confront him with other investigated material on record.
Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul adjourned the hearing till August 26. However, the court's interim order directing the CBI not to file any closure report in the case will continue to be in force.
Jasbir Singh, who lives in California, US, through his counsel last month moved a petition in the high court stating that the CBI had not followed the right procedure in summoning him.
Jasbir Singh said he wants to testify against Congress parliamentarian Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 riots, but not in India as, he said, he fears for his life.
The CBI notice to Jasbir Singh came after he and his two counsels wrote to the agency on December 24 last year to record his statement in a US court.
In the notice, the CBI stated that Jasbbir Singh "needs to be examined in-depth and is also required to point out the place in Outram Line area (in Delhi) where he had overheard the accused (Tytler) instigating the mob" to kill Sikhs after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Jasbir Singh, whom the CBI had declared "untraceable", on December 7 last year, filed an application before the court that he was ready to depose as a witness against Tytler.
The Karkardooma court in Delhi on December 18 ordered further investigation in the case and directed the CBI to record Jasbir Singh's statement.
The CBI recommended on September 29 that Tytler be prosecuted for his involvement in the anti-Sikh riots and the case against Kishan Sharma be closed as no evidence could be found against him.