Congress leader Jagdish Tytler on Tuesday was directed by a Delhi court to give an “unambiguous” reply on whether he wanted to undergo lie-detector test in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which he was earlier given clean chit.
The court held that CBI’s plea for obtaining consent of Tytler and businessman Abhishek Verma, a prosecution witness in the case, for conducting polygraph test was maintainable.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma also directed Verma to communicate his unambiguous consent or no consent for being subjected to polygraph test.
“Both the non-applicants (Tytler and Verma) are directed to file an affidavit clearly specifying they have understood the nature of the test that is sought to be conducted on them and giving a clean and unambiguous consent/no consent for participating in the polygraph test” the court said.
It said if there are any conditions attached to the consent, Tytler and Verma should appear in person on May 22, the next date of hearing, for clarification.
The court said that in his reply to CBI’s plea seeking his consent for the test, Tytler had preferred to challenge the maintainability of the application and remained evasive with regard to his consent.
“Jagdish Tytler is thus directed to communicate to this court his unambiguous consent/no consent for being subjected to polygraph test,” it said.
Challenging the maintainability of CBI’s plea, Tytler’s counsel had argued that it was a gross misuse of process of law which was filed with an intent to embarrass him.
Referring to a December 4, 2015 order of the court, he had said that CBI was directed to conduct lie detection test on Verma, if required and there was direction for conducting the test on the Congress leader.
The court, however, rejected his contention saying it was the prerogative of the investigating officer (IO) as to on whom he wants to conduct polygraph test and the court’s direction for investigation does not tie hands of the IO to conduct further probe on any other additional aspect.
“Merely because the court in December 4, 2015 order had not directed for conducting polygraph test on Tytler, it does not imply that CBI’s hands are ties in this regard,” it said.
The court also agreed with advocates Kamna Vohra and Prabhsahay Kaur, who represented the complainant victim, and refused to take on record a compilation placed by Tytler’s counsel on the history of the case, saying it was irrelevant at this stage.
Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Verma, had claimed that he and his family members were facing threat and sought adequate round the clock protection if he undergoes the test.
The court had relied on the report filed by DCP that he has been provided sufficient security.
As per the assessment report of police, he was involved in various CBI cases pending trial and his credentials were also under question. It said there was no documentary evidence to substantiate any specific threat to Verma’s life and no round-the-clock protection was required.
The 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, was 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 said it would monitor the probe every two months to ensure 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.