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1984 riots: Tytler gets clean chit from CBI

Last updated on: April 02, 2009 16:07 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday informed a Delhi court that it wanted to close the investigation into a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case allegedly involving former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

The CBI counsel told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit that "We have filed the cancellation report in the matter and want to close the investigation."

Earlier, the court ordered the opening of the sealed envelope containing the final investigation report, filed on March 28 and other status reports submitted by the CBI during the probe.

H S Phoolka, counsel for Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, raised objections over the alleged leak of the report to Tytler, who had claimed innocence in the case.

"CBI seems to be hand in gloves with the accused who claims that he has been given clean chit," he said.

The court has now fixed the matter for April 9.

Earlier, the probe agency had on September 29, 2007, sought to close the case against Tytler. But the court had on December 19, 2007, asked it to file the investigation report after Jasbir Singh, a witness, surfaced and expressed his willingness to depose against the Congress leader.

The case against Tytler relates to an incident on November one, 1984, when a mob had set afire Gurudwara Pulbangash killing three persons in the riots that had broken out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Earlier, the probe agency had on September 29, 2007, sought to close the case against Tytler. But the court had on December 19, 2007, asked it to file the investigation report after Jasbir Singh, a witness, surfaced and expressed his willingness to depose against the Congress leader.

A group of Sikhs demonstrated outside the court premises protesting the clean chit given by CBI to Tytler.

During the proceedings before the court, the CBI raised objection over Phoolka's plea seeking inspection of the investigation report.

Phoolka asserted that he should be allowed to inspect the report as there was no complainant in the case and it was registered on the information of a police inspector.

The CBI said the statements of two of the witnesses were "inconsistent, unreliable and unworthy of credit".

"During further investigation of this case, sufficient evidence regarding the involvement of Jagdish Tytler did not come up on record," a CBI spokesperson said in a statement in New Delhi.

Giving details, the CBI said this was one of the seven cases relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots taken up on the request of the Centre, which had handed over the investigation to it after examining the Justice Nanavati Commission of Enquiry Report submitted on February 9, 2005.

There were two witnesses in this case -- Surender Singh and Jasbir Singh. The first one had filed two affidavits before the Justice Nanavati Commission, it said adding, in the first affidavit, he alleged that Tytler led a mob on November one, 1984 and incited them to burn a Gurudwara and kill the Sikhs, but he retracted the statement in his second affidavit.

However, he later claimed that his first affidavit was correct. Both witnesses were in the US and a CBI team went there to record their statements. "The analysis of all the evidence on record revealed that the statements of Jasbir and Surender were inconsistent, unreliable and unworthy of credit," the CBI said.

The CBI, which had on September 29, 2007, sought to close the case against Tytler, had made Suresh Paniwala -- part of the the mob -- an accused in the case.

The court, however, had rejected the closure report and ordered re-investigation in the case.

The case against the Congress leader was registered by the CBI on the directions of the Nanavati Commission, before whom California-based Jasbir Singh, a witness, had deposed alleging he had overheard Tytler making a comment with regard to killing of Sikhs in his erstwhile constituency (Delhi Sadar) on the night of November three, 1984.

The CBI, which had given Tytler the clean chit after it could not trace witness Singh later sent its officials to the USA to record the statements of ten witnesses, including Jasbir Singh.

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