Jasbir Singh, the key witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has for the first time agreed to fly down to India and depose in the Delhi court during hearing the matter.
Jasbir, settled in California, told HT that if the court wishes to examine him before taking a stand on CBI’s closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler, he is willing to appear. The CBI had repeatedly asked Jasbir to appear before it but he had refused to come to India citing “threats to his life”. Following this, its officials travelled to the US to record his statement.
“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,” Jasbir said when asked if he was ready to come if the judge summons him now. As per section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a court can summon a witness at any stage of the enquiry, trial or any proceedings on the basis of an application filed in this regard by a competent lawyer.
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 CBI that he was staying with one Sucha Singh on November 3, 1984 when he heard Tytler inciting the mobs. Jasbir said he had “informed the CBI about two other witnesses against Tytler and even gave their affidavits and letter but they seemed to be least interested”.
But CBI contends it has not been able to 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. CBI contends its probe was honest and now it was upto the judge to decide.