'84 riots case: Setback for Jagdish Tytler

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The Supreme Court on Friday (July 12) refused to entertain Congress leader Jagdish Tytler's plea seeking a stay on an order of the trial court directing CBI to conduct further probe into his alleged role in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam said that the apex court should not interfere in the matter at this stage as the case is pending in the Delhi High Court which is scheduled to hear it on September 18. Sensing the mood of the bench, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi agreed to withdraw the petition which was allowed by the court.

Tytler approached the apex court challenging the high court's July 3 order refusing to grant interim stay on the trial court's order. The high court had refused to stay the probe saying, "Only investigation is ordered and this court will not stop the investigation."

Tytler had on May 30 moved the high court challenging the trial court order setting aside the CBI's closure report giving him a clean chit in the 29-year-old case and directing the probe agency to examine eye-witnesses and people claiming to have information about the riots.

Tytler, in his plea before the high court, had said that the trial court order is contrary to the scheme of code of CrPC. The method and mode of investigation by a probe agency is the absolute prerogative of the agency and it is not for the court to direct the agency that which witness should be examined by it, he had said.

The trial court's order of further investigation had come on a plea by the riot victims against CBI giving a clean chit to Tytler and filing the closure report.

CBI had sought dismissal of a plea filed by a victim before the trial court, saying the probe has made it clear
that Tytler was not present on November 1, 1984 at Gurudwara Pulbangash in north Delhi where three people were killed during the riots in the aftermath of assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Tytler's alleged role in the case relating to killing of the three persons -- Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh-- near Gurudwara Pulbangash was re-investigated by CBI after the magistrate court had in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report.

CBI had again given a clean chit to Tytler on April 2, 2009, claiming lack of evidence against him in the case. On April 27, 2010, the magistrate accepted CBI's closure report in the case against Tytler, saying there was no evidence to put him on trial.

CBI had claimed that at the time of the incident, Tytler was at Teen Murti Bhawan where the body of Indira Gandhi was kept and that it had already re-investigated the case on the order of trial court but there was no sufficient evidence against the Congress leader.

The sessions court had set aside the CBI's closure report giving clean chit to Tytler in the case, which has been
challenged by him.

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