Jasbir Singh, the crucial witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot related case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, has for the first time agreed to fly down to India and depose in the Delhi court that is hearing the matter.
Singh told HT from California that if the court wished to examine him before taking a stand on the CBI’s closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler, he was willing to appear before it. Singh had earlier refused to come to India citing “threats to his life”.
“I’m ready to appear before the Karkardooma Court if the judge summons me. I have been waiting for justice for 24 years. I want to cooperate with the court,” Singh said when asked if he was ready to come if the judge summoned him now.
A statement made before a court under section 164 of the CrPC has direct evidentiary value unlike those made before the investigative agency. “I had said enough to nail Tytler but they felt it was not sufficient. The court should not accept the CBI’s closure report,” he said.
Singh said he told the CBI that he was staying with one Sucha Singh on November 3, 1984, when he heard Tytler inciting the mob. Jasbir said he had “informed the CBI about two other witnesses and gave their affidavits and letter but they seemed to be least interested”.
The CBI contended that it could not trace Sucha to get Jasbir’s statement corroborated. The agency claims nine other witnesses, including Sucha’s relatives, denied Jasbir ever stayed with Sucha during the riots. The CBI said its probe was honest and it was up to the judge to decide. It said Jasbir’s statements were “unreliable”.
Tytler, who has been denying any role in the riots all along, said after the CBI clean chit that he has “suffered a lot already. I just want to be left alone. CBI report vindicates my stand that I’m innocent”.