CBI assures security to 1984 riots witness based in US

August 26th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it will provide security to Jasbir Singh, a US-based key witness to a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots here who has said there was a threat to his life.The CBI said it was ready to bear the cost of his travel expenses if he comes to India to depose before the court.

“We have told him to come to India at our expense but he has refused and is insisting on video-conferencing. It is not possible as we have to first investigate whether he is a credible witness or not,” said Additional Solicitator General P.P. Malhotra.

Jasbir Singh Monday filed a rejoinder in the court of Justice S.K. Mishra, saying he could not come to India to record his statement as his life would be in danger and the court should arrange for video-conferencing to record his statement.

He also said the CBI had not followed the right procedure for summoning him and was not conducting a fair trial in the case, so as to protect the accused, Congress parliamentarian Jagdish Tytler.

His rejoinder said: “The CBI has evoked the provision of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and sent Jasbir Singh notice under Section 160 (Indian jurisdiction of summoning) instead of Section 166 (for summoning a person living outside India).”

The CBI had sent a notice to Jasbir Singh Jan 2 to appear before the agency Jan 8. On Jan 16, the CBI had to tell a lower court what it has done to record the evidence, but it has not done so.

Sharad Kapoor, one of the counsel for Jasbir told IANS: “The CBI should adopt the facility of video-conferencing to record Jasbir Singh’s statement under section 166 (A) (letter of request to competent authority for investigation in a country or place outside India).”

In the notice to Jasbir Singh, the CBI stated that he “needs to be examined in-depth and is also required to point out the place in Outram Line area (in Delhi) where he had overheard the accused instigating a mob” to kill Sikhs after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi.

The CBI had initially declared Jasbir Singh as untraceable, but on Dec 6 last year, he filed an application before the lower court through his counsel that he was ready to depose as a witness.

On Dec 18, the lower court at Karkardooma in Delhi ordered further investigation in the case and directed the CBI to record Jasbir Singh’s statement.

On Sep 29 last year, the CBI recommended that the case against Tytler and Kishan Sharma be closed as no evidence could be found against them.

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