Adequate efforts not made to examine witness of ’84 riots: SC

Adequate efforts were not made to examine key prosecution witnesses in the five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases in which the Delhi High Court issued show cause notices to those acquitted asking them why re-trial should not be ordered, the Supreme Court said today.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra perused the records and said summon was issued to the main prosecution witness only once during the trial and upon non-appearance, the recording of evidence was closed.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, was hearing the appeal of former Delhi MLA Mahender Singh Yadav against the High Court order of March 29 last year by which show cause notices were issued to him and other acquitted persons in five anti-Sikh riots cases.

Besides Yadav, show cause notices were issued to 10 other acquitted persons including former councillor Balwan Khokhar on the complaints filed regarding rioting incidents on November 1 and 2, 1984 in Delhi Cantonment area.

The High Court had sought their responses as to why the cases, in which the accused were acquitted, be not re-opened and re-tried.

“Let this matter be listed for final disposal on March 21. The counsel for the petitioner shall intimate the High Court about the order passed by us today,” the top court said.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Delhi Police, said the CBI was pursuing the cases and the agency was needed to be made a party in the appeal.

The bench said that let the probe agency file the plea seeking impleadment as a party in the case.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing riots victims said that in all the five cases, accused were acquitted as adequate efforts were not made to ensure that key prosecution witnesses appear and depose.

“The complaints disclose horrifying crimes against humanity. These point out that male members of one community were singled out for elimination. These suggest that these were no ordinary crimes, or simple murders (if ever a murder could be termed as simple). Treated as individual cases, while the culprits got away scot free, everybody else, the police, the prosecutors, even the courts, appear to have failed the victims, and, most importantly society.

“Perhaps, had these terrible offences in 1984 been punished and the offenders brought to book, the history of crime in this country may have been different. We are of the view that if we fail to take action even now, we would be miserably failing in our constitutional duty as well as in discharging judicial function,” the High Court had said.

It had issued suo motu directions to “secure ends of justice” after perusing the trial court records regarding the acquittal of accused in five different cases in 1986 relating to killing of Sikhs during the riots which broke out a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984

Source : PTI

84 riots: Witness gives conditional consent for polygraph test

84 riots: Witness gives conditional consent for polygraph test
84 riots: Witness gives conditional consent for polygraph test

Arms dealer Abhishek Verma today said he was ready for a lie-detector test in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case if Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, given a clean chit by CBI for his alleged role, also agreed to it.

Verma, who apprehends threat to his life and to his family, told a city court that he had no objection in undergoing the polygraph test if he was provided with adequate security and the process was videographed.

Tytler has objected to the test saying CBI has not given any reason for conducting it and its plea for conducting it was “gross misuse of law” and filed with “malafide intention”.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma took on record the reply filed by Verma and listed CBI’s plea seeking to conduct lie detection test of Tytler and Verma for March 16 for hearing arguments.

Advocate Maninder Singh, who appeared for Verma, said he has been made a witness by the CBI in the case and it would be more proper if the agency records his statement before a magistrate under section 164 CrPC as he would not be able to retract from it.

“If Tytler agrees for the test, I have no objection on it. But if I am going for the test, adequate security should be provided to me and my family, as I am under threat.

“Asking me for lie detection test is more of pointing fingers at me rather than the accused. I am a witness and I am coming forward to help prosecution,” the counsel submitted.

While giving conditional consent, he also said the questions put to Verma during the test should be related to this case only and not to any other case in which he has been made accused by the agency.

The CBI prosecutor, however, said the consent should be unconditional and there should not be any condition.

During the hearing, senior advocate H S Phoolka, who represented riot victims, said keeping in mind the background of the case, the witness should be provided adequate security.

On Verma’s plea seeking protection, CBI told the court it has forwarded the complaint to the Delhi Police.

The case pertains to riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in north Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

( Source – PTI )