New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday asked CBI to inform it about the efforts made by it to ascertain claims of controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma that Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who was given a clean chit in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, influenced a witness and made hawala transactions.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SPS Laler asked the question to CBI prosecutor after hearing arguments of the counsel for riots victims on a protest petition challenging the third closure report in the case.
"Just clarify what efforts have been made by you (CBI) to find out what witness no. 8 Abhishek Verma is saying is truth or lie," the magistrate asked the CBI.
The prosecutor, however, sought time to reply to the query after which the court fixed the matter for October 28.
Regarding the argument of senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing the victims who have sought the court's direction to CBI to lodge an FIR against Tytler for offences of influencing witness and hawala transactions, the prosecutor said CBI is a central agency and the court cannot direct it to lodge FIR.
The prosecutor said as per a Supreme Court judgement, the court can direct State Police to register an FIR but not CBI.
During the arguments on the protest petition, Phoolka contended that keeping in view the seriousness of the offence the court should not accept the closure report.
He said earlier when witness Narinder Singh was giving statement in favour of Tytler, CBI was able to trace him and record it and now when he was deposing against him, the agency says he was not available.
He argued that Tytler had sent Narinder Singh, son of witness Surinder Singh, to Canada and through him the Congress leader was putting pressure on his father to change the statement and depose in his favour.
"Now CBI asks the poor complainant, a widow, to trace out the witness who gives statement against Tytler. Narinder's information is available with the embassy and they do not need the witness for that. Narinder's whereabouts were known to CBI in 2008 when he was in Canada, he is still there and we have given his phone number to the agency and it is still same," the counsel said.
He also said like earlier two closure reports, CBI was "very keen and anxious" to give a clean chit to Tytler so they can file the third closure report.
"Victim has filed a plea in this court that charges of influencing witness and hawala transactions were clearly made out against Tytler. But, the prosecutor gave a statement in the court that nothing was done in this regard and no FIR or investigation was done by the agency," Phoolka said while concluding his arguments on the protest petition.