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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

1984 riots: Order on Sajjan's plea to drop witnesses on Dec 11

PTI  New Delhi, December 02, 2013
First Published: 19:41 IST(2/12/2013) | Last Updated: 21:16 IST(2/12/2013)

A Delhi court on Monday reserved its order on a plea of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar seeking to drop nine CBI witnesses in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which he and three others are facing prosecution.

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District judge JR Aryan fixed December 11 for pronouncing the order after hearing arguments of the counsel for the CBI, accused and the victims.

The CBI had earlier said that though the chargesheet pertained to killing of six persons, it was only restricting the charge relating to murder of Surjit Singh and not of other deceased persons in respect of whom the trial had already taken place.

Kumar and three other accused, in their plea, have sought removal of the agency's witnesses claiming they were "irrelevant".

Kumar's counsel had earlier said that the CBI had filed a consolidated chargesheet of three separate FIRs and the nine prosecution witnesses, who are not related to the murder of victim Surjit Singh, and they should be removed.

He had said three separate FIRs were registered for the murder of six people but if the CBI was restricting its case to only one murder then the witnesses who were not related to this murder should be removed.

The CBI had, however, opposed Kumar's plea saying it is for the agency to decide who were relevant or irrelevant witnesses, and whom they wanted to remove.

Kumar's plea was also opposed by senior advocate HS Phoolka, appearing for the riot victims, saying the nine witnesses were "very important" and leaving them out would be miscarriage of justice.

The court had earlier framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with killing of a man in Sultanpuri area in the riots that had taken place after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Accused Khushal Singh has since died.

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