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‘Sajjan cannot cross-examine statements’

A Delhi court hearing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against Sajjan Kumar on Saturday dismissed a plea by the Congress leader to confront a key-witness on her statements made to judicial commissions that are inquiring into the riots.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 3, 2012 12:42:27 am

A Delhi court hearing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case against Sajjan Kumar on Saturday dismissed a plea by the Congress leader to confront a key-witness on her statements made to judicial commissions that are inquiring into the riots.

The decision means that Kumar will not get a chance to cross-examine the witness again; final arguments in the case will continue from July 12. Dismissing the petition,District Judge J R Aryan said witness’ statements to judicial commissions could not be used for any purpose,including for cross-examination or to question his or her credibility.

“Even a plain reading of Section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act prohibits the use of the previous statements at the trial either for the purposes of cross examination to contradict the witness or to impeach his credit,” the court said.

In his application,Sajjan Kumar had said he should be allowed to confront one of the key prosecution witnesses,Jagdish Kaur,on the earlier affidavits and statements given by her to the GT Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra Commissions.

The former Outer Delhi MP had alleged that the victim’s statement to the commission contradicted her testimony given to the trial court.

Kumar had said the CBI had changed their stand on using the statements made to the commissions as evidence. He said earlier the agency had brought on record and even examined Kaur’s affidavit and statement to the judicial commissions but had later told the court they could not be used because of contradictions.

The CBI had argued that as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act,the affidavits and statements of a witness given before any commission cannot be used against that person for the purpose of questioning his or her testimony.

The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered on the recommendation by Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and others in January 2010.

Aside from Sajjan Kumar,Balwan Khokkar,Kishan Khokkar,Mahender Yadav,Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal are facing trial in the killings of six people in the Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 carnage,which broke out after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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