‘Interesting turn’ will take place in 1984 riots case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler: Victims’ lawyers

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Published: December 23, 2018 5:14:41 PM

The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI's closure reports in the case.

In June 2015, Verma had deposed before the CBI that Tytler had told him in 2008 he had met the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he got a clean chit over his alleged role in the case.

The conviction of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case has raised hopes of an “interesting turn” in the case against Jagdish Tytler who has been given a clean chit by the CBI, lawyers representing the victims said. They said the wheels of justice have started moving in the case against Tytler and they are awaiting the report of a lie detector test on controversial businessman Abhishek Verma, who volunteered to support the case against Tytler by deposing as witness. Senior advocate H S Phoolka and lawyer Kamna Vohra, who are representing the riots victims in case against Tytler, said they are quite hopeful that they will get the same result which the Delhi High Court gave in the case of Kumar, who has been sentenced to life term.

Phoolka said after the high court verdict convicting Kumar in the other riots case, their hope has risen. “It is a great achievement for us. That verdict has made our case stronger against other persons also,” he said. On her part, Vohra told PTI that “now quite an interesting turn will take place in the (Tytler’s) case.” Her view was shared by Phoolka. The Congress leader has always denied his role and involvement in the riots and has been given clean chit by the CBI thrice. But the court has refused to accept the closure report and directed the agency to probe the case further and file status report.

However, Verma, who has claimed that Tytler had narrated him the sequence of events relating to the Pulbangash case, has already undergone a lie detector test which was declined by the Congress leader. Vohra also shared the views of the senior advocate and said in the Tytler case, Verma has “spilled the beans” relating to the Congress leader’s alleged role in the riots incident that took place at Gurudwara Pulbangash in north Delhi where three Sikhs were killed by a mob after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She said the lie detector test was conducted sometime in the beginning of December and the report will be made available within a month. “We will wait for the report of the forensic science laboratory on the lie detector test.

We have been told (by the court) that the report will be made available after 30 days. “Once the report is made available, we will be able to know how we have to move further,” she told PTI. However, Vohra said they would not be totally relying on Verma’s version as there are sterling witnesses in the case and the evidence likely to come from the businessman’s lie detector test will be “one piece of evidence”. Phoolka said witnesses were influenced and they have evidence that one of the key witnesses was sent to Canada, allegedly at the behest of Tytler and they would try to bring him back. He had earlier also told the court that Tytler had sent Narinder Singh, son of witness Surinder Singh, to Canada and through him the Congress leader was putting pressure on his father to change the statement and depose in his favour. Phoolka said the CBI has called for some information from Canada.

However, advocate Arunabh chowdhury, representing Tytler, said right now there is no case against the Congress leader and the CBI has filed three closure reports after thoroughly investigating the case. “The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) had directed further investigation in the case. We don’t know what is going to happen. There is no case against him. The CBI has said there was no reliable evidence against Tytler. The CBI has done a thorough probe into the matter, ” he said. In June 2015, Verma had deposed before the CBI that Tytler had told him in 2008 he had met the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after which he got a clean chit over his alleged role in the case.

In his statement as a witness recorded by the CBI during a probe, Verma, an accused in the naval war room leak and other cases including cheating and forgery, had said Tytler had also told him that a deal was struck and a hefty amount was paid to a riots case witness, who had deposed against him. The matter is being heard by ACMM Amit Arora who has asked the CBI to file a status report on further investigation in the case and listed it for hearing on January 15.

The CBI’s move seeking permission to conduct polygraph test on Tytler and Verma had come in pursuance to the court’s December 4, 2015 order in which it was mentioned that the lie-detection test may be conducted, if required. The case pertained to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI’s closure reports in the case.

The court had in December 2015 directed the CBI to further investigate the matter and said it would monitor the probe every two months to ensure that no aspect is left uninvestigated. The agency had reinvestigated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwara after a court in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report. The CBI has filed three closure reports in the case.

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