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CBI to give riots case report by March 12

A city court asks the CBI to submit by March 12 its report on the recording of the statement of US based Jasbir Singh, a key witness in the case.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2008 17:19 IST

A city court on Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit by March 12 its report on the recording of the statement of US based Jasbir Singh, a key witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots involving former union minister and Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjeev Jain posted the case to March 12 after the CBI informed the court that a similar case is pending before the Delhi High Court in which they need to respond to a petition filed by Jasbir Singh by Feb 27.

The Delhi High Court on Monday also asked the CBI not to submit any closure report till the pendency of the case.

The court then asked the CBI why the agency was not interested in recording Jasbir's statement via video-conferencing. To this, the CBI replied that it disputed the identity of Jasbir Singh and will not record the statement until and unless it was sure about his whereabouts in the US.

The California-based Singh, who was earlier declared non-traceable by the CBI, filed the petition last week through his son, seeking quashing of a CBI notice asking him to come to India and give his statement on the riots.

The CBI, following a trial court order directive to re-investigate Tytler's role in the case, issued notice to Singh on Jan 2 under section 160 of the CrPC, which empowers the probe agency to seek presence of a witness.

Challenging the summons, Singh said the CBI, allegedly with the aim to help the accused Congress leader, was insisting on his presence in India for recording of the statement.

"If the CBI is really serious and interested in investigating the case and recording the statement of the witness petitioner, then it should have moved under section 166A (1)(which allows non-resident Indian to testify in foreign courts on the request of probe agency) and not under section 160 of the CrPC," the petition alleged.

Singh, in an affidavit before the Nanavati Commission, which investigated the anti-Sikh riots, stated that on Nov 3, 1984 he had overheard Tytler rebuking his men for "only" nominal killing of Sikhs in his constituency.