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1984 riots: Court gives final chance to CBI to complete probe

india Updated: Jul 11, 2016 22:04 IST
1984 riots

The CBI was a final extension of two months to complete its probe in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against Jagdish Tytler.(HT Photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was on Monday given a final extension of two months to complete its probe in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was earlier given a clean chit.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Shivali Sharma pulled up the CBI for not taking proper steps to complete the probe, as directed by the court earlier, and made it clear that if no fruitful results are shown in two months, the agency’s superintendent of police would have to explain.

The court’s direction came after the CBI prosecutor filed a status report of the ongoing probe and sought two more months to file the final report.

“From perusal of the report and case file, it appears proper steps are not being taken to complete the probe as directed by the court earlier. Still, in the interest of justice and on the asking of the investigating officer, further two months time is given to complete the probe,” the magistrate said.

It also remarked that “justice delayed is justice denied and it is a fact”.

During the hearing, senior advocate HS Phoolka, who was representing the complainant and a riot victim, argued that he has a right to know the status of the probe and said the CBI should be asked to give a copy of its communication with the High Commission of Canada.

The court said if no fruitful results come out by September 14, the next date of hearing, the CBI will have to give a copy of its communication to complainant Lakhvinder Kaur.

During the hearing, the court posed several questions, including when it was going to file the final probe report, what was the problem in giving to the complainant a copy of its letter to the High Commission of Canada and why it has not given complete available details of one Narinder Singh, son of a key witness against Tytler, to Interpol authorities.

“Why are you (CBI) not giving available Canada address of Narinder Singh to Interpol and Canadian authorities? You are not giving them complete details and you still want Interpol to help you and trace the person for you? How is it possible,” the ACMM asked.

During the hearing, the prosecutor assured the court that the agency was taking the case seriously and effective steps were being taken. He also said the CBI was awaiting reports from the Interpol and other authorities after which it would file the final report.

Phoolka, however, contended that the CBI probe was a “total eye-wash” and the agency’s joint director or director should be called to the court to answer its queries.

He said on the last date of hearing he had offered to help the investigating agency in getting information from the Canadian high commission but was turned down.

The court had earlier directed the CBI to write to the Canadian high commission for information regarding the case.

On December 4 last year, it directed the CBI to further probe the riots case against Tytler, saying the statement of arms dealer Abhishek Verma had revealed an active role of the Congress leader in extending “helping hand” to a witness against him.

The court had also said that as the CBI had filed closure reports in the case several times, it would now monitor the probe every two months so that no aspect of the matter was left uninvestigated.

The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The court’s order had come on a protest petition filed by complainant Lakhvinder Kaur, whose husband Badal Singh was killed in the violence, challenging the CBI’s closure report exonerating Tytler.

The court had noted that the Verma’s statement to the CBI, claiming that Tytler had sent key witness Surinder Singh Granthi’s son to Canada, cannot be a “sheer coincidence” and the agency should probe if the facts disclosed were true.

The CBI re-investigated the case of the killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwara after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept the closure report. It has filed three closure reports in the case.

Tytler has denied any role in the riots.