New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday opposed in a Delhi court a plea by two of the accused, who along with Congress leader Sajjan Kumar are facing trial in a 30-year-old anti-Sikh riots case, seeking transfer of the case, saying the timing of filing the application raises "eyebrows".
Arguing before District Judge Talwant Singh, CBI counsel D P Singh contented that the accused were not allowed to do "forum shopping" and there was "malice" behind the move to file such application at this stage.
"The question is not of delay but it is the question of intent when the application has been moved. No such plea was filed earlier. It raises eyebrows and question mark on the timing when the application is moved in this regard," the CBI counsel argued.
"The application filed by accused Brahmanand Gupta is with the oblique motive and the reasons seeking transfer besides being malafide, are only an eyewash," he said.
Accused Brahmanand Gupta and Peeriya had moved the plea before the judge, who recently took over charge, seeking transfer of the case from his Karkardooma district court to Rohini district court on the ground of jurisdiction.
Advocate Anil Kumar Sharma, appearing for the two accused, argued that according to the 2013 notification and orders of the Delhi High Court, the district judge should transfer the case to the district concerned.
"The case needs to be transferred to its respective district Rohini for want of jurisdiction as the alleged occurrence pertains to Sultan Puri area and not to the jurisdiction of this court.
"Thus, this court is empowered to transfer the trial of the present case in view of the orders of the High Court of Delhi as this court has no jurisdiction to try and decide the present case. The transfer is merited and case is required to be ordered to be transferred," he said in the application.
The court after hearing the arguments fixed the case for January 14 when it would take up submissions of accused Ved Prakash whose counsel sought time to file a similar plea.
Sajjan Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, and Ved Prakash are facing trial for charges of murder and rioting in connection with the case of killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri here.
During the hearing today, the defence counsel opposed the submission of the CBI prosecutor that the case was specifically assigned to this court.
The court is currently recording statements of prosecution witnesses in the case. The trial in the case had commenced on January 10, 2014.
The court in July 2010 had framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with killing of a man in Sultanpuri area in the riots that had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Accused Khushal Singh has died.
The trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence.