Anti-Sikh riots: court orders reopening of case against Tytler

Jagdish TytlerIn a fresh jolt to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, a Delhi court today ordered reopening of a case against him related to the 1984 anti-Sikhs following former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination.

Additional sessions judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj set aside the order of a magistrate's court which accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation's closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler.

The investigative agency was directed to examine eye-witnesses and people claiming to have information about the riots.

"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 decreed.

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.

Punjab's Shiromani Akali Dal welcomed the Delhi court's decision. Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the decision as a ''first small victory in a 30-year sustained battle by thousands of families of (riot) victims''.

During lengthy arguments over the past few months, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for petitioner Lakhwinder Kaur, had submitted that there was material which the agency has ignored and there also was evidence before the trial court against Tytler.

"The 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 rioting incidents. 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 1 November 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 the three people - 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 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.

The CBI had cleared Tytler on 2 April 2009 claiming lack of evidence against him in the case pertaining to the murder of three persons on 1 November 1984.

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.