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CBI unrepentant on Tytler

CBI unrepentant on Tytler

Author: Rakesh Ranjan
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: April 10, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/168606/CBI-unrepentant-on-Tytler.html

Despite the controversy surrounding the clean chit given to former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, the CBI on Thursday remained unrepentant challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter where it had submitted the closure report.

The city court, however, turned down their plea to transfer the hearing of the case to a sessions court. "The charges made out in the offence are that of murder, which falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of a sessions court, and this court (magisterial court) is not competent to hear the case,"the CBI prosecutor submitted. He further submitted, "We have already filed a chargesheet against other accused Suresh Kumar Panewala in this case and the court should take cognisance of it and refer the matter to a sessions court." But the court, relying on a Supreme Court ruling, overruled the submission and fixed the matter for further hearing on April 28 and 29.

The CBI's contentions were vehemently opposed by senior advocate and the counsel for Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee HS Phoolka. "The same court on previous occasion had quashed CBI's closure report against Tytler and so there was no legitimacy behind challenging the competence of the court," said Phoolka. He also accused the investigating agency of misleading the court by citing wrong laws. The CBI had put forth a Supreme Court ruling to support their argument that a magisterial court was not competent to discuss the merit of the closure report. The court, however, rejected the submission after observing that the apex court had overruled the same ruling in 1998. "It is a shame on part of the CBI, which cited wrong laws to mislead the court," Phoolka alleged adding that it was a contempt of court and sought issuance of summon to the CBI Director to face the contempt. But the court deferred the matter for next date of hearing and asked the two sides to show the case laws in support of their arguments.

The CBI counsel also told the court that Tytler had handed them over a CD, which suggests the he was not present at the time of incident. "Tytler was not present at Gurdwara Pul Bangash on November 1, 1984, as he was at Teen Murti Bhawan, beside the body of Indira Gandhi," he said. "We have already filed a closure report regarding Tytler after recording evidence of two witnesses that are inconsistent and unworthy of credit. There is no sufficient evidence against him," the counsel further said. But the court adjourned the matter saying, "The court will also have to look into the material, including CDs, containing statement of witnesses."

Meanwhile, Phoolka alleged that after the court proceedings, Tytler's supporters surrounded him and tried to disrupt his Press briefing. "I was surrounded by dozens of his supporters who pushed me around and threatened me. No policeman even came to protect me," alleged Phoolka and added that he would talk to the Delhi Police Commissioner and seek action against the security in-charge at the court premises.

The CBI had on April 2, filed the final report in one of the seven cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, wherein Jagdish Tytler was the main accused. Tytler is accused of leading a mob that had set afire Gurdwara Pul Bangash under Bara Hindu Rao police station in the Capital wherein three persons were burnt to death on November 1, 1984. A case in this regard was registered in November 2005 after the Justice Nanavati Commission report, which was set up to look into the riots. The CBI had earlier on September 28, 2007 already given Tytler a clean chit over his alleged involvement in the case.

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