My life is in danger: 1984 riots witness tells court

August 25th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Jasbir Singh, a key witness in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and who now lives in California, Monday informed the Delhi High Court through his counsel that he could not come to India to record his statement as his life would be in danger.Filing a rejoinder in the court of Justice S.K. Mishra, Jasbir Singh requested the court to adopt video-conferencing for recording his statement.

He also said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not followed the right procedure for summoning him and was not conducting fair trial in the case 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 court will decide on Jasbir’s rejoinder Tuesday.

Sharad Kapoor, one of his counsel, told IANS: “The CBI cannot summon him directly by sending a notice under Section 160 of CrPC at a short period as he cannot arrange the finances quickly.”

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.

Kapoor said 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 had 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 had recommended that the case against Tytler and Kishan Sharma be closed as no evidence could be found against them.

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