The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been given two months to complete its probe in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case - in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was earlier given a clean chit for his alleged role.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma pulled up the CBI for not taking proper steps to complete the probe. The court's direction came when the CBI prosecutor filed a status report of ongoing probe and sought two more months to file the final report.
"I have perused CBI's status report and the case file. From perusal of the report and case file, it appears proper steps are not being taken to complete the probe as directed by the court earlier. Still in the interest of justice and on the asking of the investigating officer, further two months time is given to complete the probe," the magistrate said.
The court made clear in its order that if "no fruitful results" are given even after two months, then the concerned SP of CBI would have to appear before it for an explanation.
It also remarked "justice delayed is justice denied and it is a fact," apparently indicating the delay in the probe.
During the hearing, senior advocate HS Phoolka, who was representing the complainant and riot victim, argued that he has a right to know the status of the probe and said CBI should be asked to give a copy of its communication with the High Commission of Canada regarding some information.
The court, however, said if no fruitful results come out by 14 September, the next date of hearing, CBI is directed to give copy of its communication with the Canadian High Commission to complainant Lakhvinder Kaur for her assistance.
During the hearing, the court posed several questions to CBI including when it was going to file the final probe report, what was the problem in giving to the complainant a copy of its letter written to the High Commission of Canada and why it has not given complete available details of one Narinder Singh, son of a key witness against Tytler, to Interpol authorities.
"Why are you (CBI) not giving available Canada address of Narinder Singh to Interpol and Canadian authorities? You are not giving them complete details and you still want Interpol to help you and trace the person for you? How is it possible," the ACMM asked.
During the hearing, the prosecutor said the agency was taking the case seriously and effective steps are being taken.
The prosecutor said CBI was awaiting reports from the Interpol and other authorities after which it would file the final report.
Phoolka, however, contended that the CBI probe was a "total eye-wash" and the agency's Joint Director or Director should be called to the court to answer its queries.
He said on the last date of hearing, he had offered to help CBI in getting information from the Canadian High Commission but the agency has been opposing it.
The court had earlier directed CBI to write to the Canadian High Commission for information regarding the case.
The court had on 4 December, 2015, directed CBI to further probe the riots case against Tytler, saying the statement of arms dealer Abhishek Verma had revealed an active role played by the Congress leader in extending "helping hand" to a witness against him.
The court had also said that as the CBI had filed closure reports in the case several times, it would from now on monitor the probe every two months so that no aspect of the matter is left uninvestigated.
The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on 1 November, 1984, a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The court's order had come on a protest petition filed by complainant Lakhvinder Kaur, whose husband Badal Singh was killed in the violence, challenging the CBI's closure report exonerating Tytler.
The court had noted that the statement given by Verma to CBI in which he claimed that Tytler had sent the son of Surinder Singh Granthi, a key witness against him, to Canada cannot be a "sheer coincidence" and the agency should probe if the facts disclosed by Verma were true.
CBI had re-investigated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwaram after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept the closure report. CBI had filed three closure reports in the case. Tytler has denied any role in the riots.