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Judge recuses himself from hearing Tytler’s petition

Staff Reporter
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Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.– File Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma
Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.– File Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Justice Kailash Gambhir of the Delhi High Court on Friday recused himself from hearing Congress leader Jagdish Tytler’s petition against a trial court order directing further investigation into a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case here.

The wife of a man, who was killed by a mob along with two others at Gurdwara Pul Bangash in North Delhi during the riots, had accused Mr. Tytler of inciting the mob. The widow made this allegation in a protest petition against the Central Bureau of Investigation’s decision to close the case.

She also charged that the investigating agency had not recorded statement of witnesses to the murder of the three Sikhs.

The riots had broken out in the wake of the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

Recusing himself from the case without citing any reason, Justice Gambhir passed a direction for putting up the petition before another Bench on July 3 for hearing.

The Court has gone on a month-long summer vacation from June 1.

Rejecting the closure report filed by the probe agency in the case, the trial court had last month ordered further probe into it.

“The trial court order is contrary to the scheme of the Criminal Procedure Code. The method and mode of investigation by a probe agency is the absolute prerogative of the agency and it is not for the court to direct the agency that which witness should be examined by it,” Mr. Tytler’s petition said.

“The settled position of law is that a direction for investigation can be given only if an offence is prima facie found to have been committed or a person’s involvement is prime facie established but direction to investigate whether any person has committed an offence or not cannot be legally given,” the petition stated.

Mr. Tytler urged the Court to quash the trial court order.

Setting aside a Metropolitan Magistrate court order accepting the closure report filed by the investigating agency, the Sessions court had also directed the agency to record the statement of the eyewitnesses to the murder of the three Sikhs.

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