Sikh riots case: Court reserves order on Tytler's polygraph test

Tytler had earlier refused to undergo the lie-detector test.

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New Delhi, Apr 18: A Delhi court on Tuesday reserved its order on CBI's plea seeking its permission to conduct a lie- detector test on Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who has been given a clean chit by the agency in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, and arms dealer Abhishek Verma, for further probe.

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma fixed the matter for May 9 to pronounce the order on the application after hearing the arguments of the counsel for CBI, Tytler, Verma and the riot victims.

While Tytler has refused to undergo the test, Verma, who has been made a witness in the case, has given conditional consent while seeking protection claiming threat to his life. CBI has, however, said that the consent for polygraph test should be unconditional.

During the hearing, the advocates appearing for Tytler and the riot victims said the CBI should be directed to expedite the further probe in the case. Meanwhile, advocates Kamna Vohra and Prabhsahay Kaur, appearing for the victims, moved a plea seeking direction to take off the record, a compilation, some written submissions and list of events from 1984 till date, given by Tytler, saying he does not have a locus standi at this stage.

"The matter is at the stage of further investigation which is being monitored by this court. Jagdish Tytler has not been summoned as yet. At this stage, the court cannot go into the merits of the stage and accused has no right to be heard at this stage. However, he is attempting to prejudice this court as to the merits of the case at this stage of probe," the application claimed, adding that Tytler's compilation and submissions were premature.

Tytler's lawyer countered the arguments, saying he had come to the court after being summoned by it and the victims' plea was not maintainable. The counsel, appearing for Verma, told the judge that he was being provided security only on the days of the hearing and sought 24-hour protection as there was a threat to his life.

This was supported by victims' counsel, who said Verma was the only witness who has come forward to depose in the matter and when he was ready to undergo polygraph test, he should be given police protection.

CBI's move seeking permission to conduct polygraph test on Tytler and Verma came in pursuance to the court's December 4, 2015 order in which it was mentioned that the lie-detection test may be conducted, if required.

The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Tytler, who has denied any role in the riots, has been given clean chit by the CBI thrice in the case, but the agency was directed by the court to further investigate the matter.

The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI's closure reports in the case. The court had in December 2015 directed the CBI to further investigate the matter and had said it would monitor the probe every two months so that no aspect is left uninvestigated. The agency had reinvestigated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwara after a court in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report. The CBI has filed three closure reports in the case.

PTI

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