HC refrains CBI to close case against Tytler

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today refrained the CBI to close the case against former union minister Jagdish Tytler, accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, until the issue regarding the eyewitness was resolved.

Jasbir Singh, who is staying in California, claims to have seen Tytler escorting a mob which ignited the riots that broke out soon after former prime minister Indira Gandhi's murder in 1984.

He says that the CBI is making ''mockery'' of the system by not recording his statement. He wants to depose from the US court by video conferencing as he feels a threat to his life, if he comes to India.

Appearing before Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, representing the CBI, told the court that they cannot record Jasbir Singh's statement by video conferencing as he had never appeared before the agency earlier and it will be difficult to establish his identity at this stage .

ASG Malhotra informed the court that the CBI would not file a closure report till the disposal of petition here. Later, the court directed the agency not to close the case till its disposal.

The court issued notice to the CBI and fixed February 27 to file their reply.

Singh alleges that the agency despite having his address did not bother to contact him and declared him untraceable and sought for the closure of the case.

He had urged the court to quash the notice issued by the CBI which seeks his presence in Delhi to depose before them.

Persuant to the trial court order, the CBI had halted the process of filing the closure report against Tytler and started a re-investigation in the matter.

The CBI issued notice to Singh on January 2 under section 160 of the CrPC, which empowers the probe agency to seek presence of a witness, but Jasbir Singh says that the agency should have issued him notice under section 166A (1), which allows non-resident Indian to testify in foreign courts on the request of the probe agency.

Singh's lawyer Sharat Kapoor alleges that the CBI is not co-operating with the witness and wants to save the accused.

''CBI is acting in a manner as if the witness is an accused and while issuing notice to him it had not stated that who will bear the cost of his travel as also not addressed his security concerns,'' Singh's counsel added.

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