The CBI on Tuesday opposed a plea by victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots seeking details of its status report filed before a Delhi court in a case allegedly involving former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, claiming that it would compromise the security of witnesses.
“The CBI raises objections on making available a copy of status report (to the victims) as it is based on proceedings recorded in case diaries. Further, some witnesses examined by it were apprehending threat to their lives,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjiv Jain noted.
The probe agency raised the objections in the court after senior counsel H.S. Phoolka, appearing for Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee and November ‘84 Carnage Justice Committee, sought a copy of the status filed by it on March 19.
However, speaking to reporters, Phoolka claimed that it was the victims’ right to get a copy of the report. Expressing apprehension over CBI’s request to conceal the contents of its report, the counsel said, he would prefer an application for its inspection before May 14, the next date of hearing.
Earlier during the proceedings, the CBI counsel Sanjay Kumar also submitted that it had so far questioned five witnesses and examined two documents related to the case.
Kumar also said that the investigation in the matter was still in progress and since March 19, the day CBI filed its report in the court, the probe agency had examined one more witness. The court, taking CBI’s plea into consideration, asked the CBI to file another report on May 14.
The CBI had been asked on December 19 to file its report under section 173 CrPC (investigation report), after a US-based witness Jasbir Singh volunteered to depose against Tytler. Singh had earlier expressed his inability to come to the country and had expressed his willingness to record his statement through video-conferencing.
The case relates to an incident on November 1, 1984 when a mob had set afire Gurudwara Pulbangash killing three persons.
A petition filed on behalf of Singh before the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the CBI to record his statement through video-conferencing is still pending.
The CBI had on September 29 sought to close the case against former Union Minister Tytler, declaring Singh, an alleged key witness, who is presently settled in California, as untraced.