A city court Wednesday dismissed the plea of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to make a representation on behalf of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots allegedly involving former union minister Jagdish Tytler.
The court, however, allowed Lakhwinder Kaur, wife of Badal Singh who was killed in the riots, to take part in the proceedings and represent herself in the case. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit disposed of the application filed by DSGMC and the November ’84 Carnage Justice Committee, seeking to be heard before the court decides on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe report in which Tytler has been given a clean chit.
“It is a criminal matter involving the death of three persons on account of riots. Now the applicants represent witnesses who have already deposed. It is argued by them that they also represent the general public who feel affected by the riots. I think the arguments are not tenable as the scope of the case is limited to the cause of death and who caused the death of three persons. The scope cannot be extended beyond that,” the court said. The court also turned down the plea of Kaur, who had prayed that the CBI’s closure report be provided to her, saying there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code to that effect and posted the matter for Aug 1.
Rebecca M. John, appearing for Lakhwinder Kaur, had contended before the court: “The injured or aggrieved parties do have a right to be heard. The investigating agency is bound to give notice to such parties and if they fail to do so, the court is bound to hear us as settled by the Supreme Court.” The CBI had on April 9 filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Tytler, who is accused of having incited mobs to attack Sikhs in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The CBI clean chit to Tytler triggered protests, forcing the Congress to drop him as a Lok Sabha candidate.