New Delhi: In a big jolt to Jagdish Tytler, a Delhi court on Wednesday ordered reopening of a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against him, setting aside a CBI closure report giving clean chit to the Congress leader.
The CBI was directed to examine eye-witnesses and people claiming to have information about the riots.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj set aside the order of a magisterial court which accepted CBI's closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler.
"The order of the trial court accepting the closure report is set aside. CBI is directed to conduct the investigation and examine the claimants/eye witnesses in the case," the judge directed.
The ASJ's order came on a plea by the riot victims against the CBI giving a clean chit to Tytler and filing a closure report.
During lengthy arguments over the past few months in support of the plea, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for petitioner Lakhwinder Kaur, had submitted that there was material which the agency has ignored and evidence was also there before the trial court against Tytler.
"CBI had time to examine Tytler's driver, who had deposed in his favour, but they had no time to record the statement of the witnesses who had seen Tytler at the spot of incident. Are they (CBI) investigating on the command of Tytler?," he had said.
The CBI had, however, sought dismissal of the plea filed by the victim saying the probe has made it clear that Tytler was not present on November 1, 1984 at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed during the riots.
Tytler's alleged role in the case relating to killing of three persons -- Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh -- near the Gurudwara Pulbangash was re-investigated by the CBI after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report.
The CBI claimed that at the time of the incident, Tytler was at Teen Murti Bhawan, the residence of the then late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and that it has already re-investigated the case on the order of trial court but there was no sufficient evidence against Tytler.
CBI had given a clean chit to Tytler on April 2, 2009 claiming lack of evidence against him in the case pertaining to the murder of three persons on November 1, 1984, in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
However, on April 27, 2010, a magistrate had accepted CBI's closure report in the case against Tytler, saying there was no evidence to put him on trial.
The court had allowed CBI's closure report saying Tytler was present at Teen Murti Bhawan and was not at the spot of crime and the contentions of CBI were justified by material, including some visual tapes and versions of some independent witnesses.
One of the witness, Jasbir (now residing in California), in an affidavit, had claimed before the Justice Nanavati Commission that he had heard Tytler on November 3, 1984, rebuking his men for the "nominal killings" carried out in the riots.
The court had rejected Jasbir's version, saying he had deposed for something which took place on November 3 while the case related to an incident of November 1, 1984.
Some of the witnesses had alleged that during the riots, Tytler was instigating the mob to kill Sikhs, a charge strongly refuted by him.
Will study order to decide future course of action: CBI
CBI, whose clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case was rejected by a court here, said on Wednesday it will study the verdict before deciding the course of action.
CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said the agency will study the orders of the court and decide on future course of action.
Agency sources, meanwhile, manintained that they had sent a team to record the statement of the witness based in the United States of America but his statements were not found to have any evidential value.
They said the witness had given them three more names who had claimed to have the information of Tytler's alleged role in the anti-Sikh riots which shook the city after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards.
The sources claimed the persons named by the US-based witness were not found to be genuine.
Asked about the future course of action by the agency, they said it would depend on the directive issued by the court and CBI is ready to probe again if the orders are for examination of only two-three witnesses.
CBI had filed closure report in the case saying the probe has made it clear that Tytler was not present on November 1, 1984 at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed during the riots.
Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj today set aside the order of a magisterial court which accepted CBI's closure report.