A Delhi court on Monday directed the CBI to expedite the investigation in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case allegedly involving Congress leader Jagdish Tytler and file a progress report. The direction was passed by the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Amit Arora, after the agency informed it that one more month was needed to conduct a lie detector test on controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma, a witness in the case.
The court directed the CBI’s superintendent of police, who appeared before it in pursuance to its February order, to speed up the probe and file the progress report by May 21, the next date of hearing, The case relates to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
During the hearing, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the riots victims, said the investigation was going on since two years and alleged that the CBI was trying to shield Tytler in the case. “It has been two years. A lot of evidence has been destroyed in the case,” Phoolka said.
He further said the court had ordered for Verma’s lie detector test in a forensic lab in Rohini here six months ago and even that was being delayed. The agency, however, told the court that the polygraph machine in the lab was not working which is why the test could not be conducted, adding that it would require one more month for the test. Verma had earlier alleged before the court that the forensic lab here was trying to shield Tytler, who has been given clean chit in the case, during the polygraph tests carried out earlier.
While Tytler, who has been given a clean-chit thrice by the CBI in the riots case, has refused to undergo the lie detector test, Verma had given conditional consent if he was provided round-the-clock security claiming threat to his life.
Tytler had denied his role in the riots, but the court had ordered further investigation despite the CBI having submitted closure reports in the case thrice in the past. The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI’s closure reports in the case.
The court had on December 2015 directed the CBI to further investigate the matter and decided to monitor the progress every two months to ensure no aspect was 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.