The CBI today told a Delhi court that strict action be taken against witnesses if they fail to appear for their deposition in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and two others are facing trial pertaining to the alleged killing of a man.
CBI’s submission came when a prosecution witness whose deposition was to be recorded did not appear in the court and her daughter informed the court that she was unwell.
CBI prosecutor D P Singh submitted before District Judge Amarnath that in future the court should take strict action against the witnesses if they fail to appear before it as their absence delays the trial.
The court was scheduled to record the testimony of Sheela Kaur, the fifth prosecution witness, but she could not come due to her illness.
The court posted the case for June 6 and directed Kaur to appear on that day along with her medical certificate. The day’s proceedings were videographed.
During the hearing, advocate Anil Sharma, appearing for the accused argued that the trial was getting delayed due to the non-presence of witness.
The case was transferred from Karkardooma court to Patiala House court here by the Delhi High Court which had directed the district judge to video record the proceedings at the cost of the accused.
Earlier, Kumar and other two accused, Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash, had told the court that they were ready to bear the expenses of videography of proceedings in the matter.
These three accused are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting in the case pertaining to killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri here.
The proceedings in the case were earlier stayed after the victim and complainant Joginder Singh had approached the high court seeking transfer of the case to another court alleging that the evidence was not being properly recorded.
While transferring the case, the high court had made it clear that the transfer was “warranted to protect and uphold the dignity of the judicial system and to promote the faith of citizens in courts of law”.
The trial court had in July 2010 framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with Surjit’s killing during the riots. Accused Khushal Singh and Peeriya have since died.
The court had also framed charges for offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused.
Deposing as a prosecution witness, Kaur had on September 10 last year told the trial court that she had seen Kumar allegedly addressing the crowd and instigating the mob to kill them.
( Source – PTI )