A 1984 anti-Sikh riots victim today alleged before a Delhi court that CBI had discredited the witnesses in the case in order to "shield" former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler.
"CBI failed once again. Whatever they did, it was only to shield the accused. Instead of protecting the witnesses, they started with the premise that they were not reliable," advocate Rebecca M John told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit.
She was putting forth the arguments on behalf of Lakhwinder Kaur who had filed a petition protesting the clean chit given by CBI to the Congress leader in a case relating to murder of three persons, including her husband Badal Singh, in the 1984 riots that followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
"Instead of coming to truth, what CBI did was that it examined two sets of witnesses. Whoever came forward against a high functionary of a political party, they started with a pre-conceived notion that a set of people should be in a position to negate them," she contended.
The counsel submitted the probe agency did not make any determined effort to examine Tytler nor did it record his statement or put him through lie-detection test when it was directed to "further investigate" the matter by the court in December, 2008.
CBI took a plea on behalf of the accused that he was present elsewhere at the time of offence, which is available to him only at the stage of trial, John said, adding CBI probe report in the matter should be consigned to its record room.
CBI had termed two witnesses -- Surinder Singh (already expired) and Jasbir Singh -- as "unreliable" and their claims with regard to the alleged role of Tytler in the riots as "false and concocted".
During her lengthy arguments, the counsel for Kaur referred to the Supreme Court judgement in Zahira Sheikh case of 2002 Gujarat riots where it was stated that witnesses needed to be protected and not terrified.
She also submitted that the court had the power to reject CBI's report and again direct the probe agency to further investigate the matter.
The advocate also referred to a statement by a TV channnel reporter to buttress her claim that Surinder, a priest of the Gurudwara Pulbangash, was not unreliable.