A court in Delhi today rejected a plea filed by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar asking if witnesses can be confronted with their affidavits submitted to the judicial commissions set up to examine the 1984 riots cases. Mr Kumar is facing trial in one of these cases.
District Judge J R Aryan had reserved his order on the plea on May 26 after hearing arguments of the counsels for the CBI and the accused.
In his application, the former Outer Delhi MP had said that prosecutor RS Cheema had on July 12, 2010, made a statement in the court that affidavits and statement of a key witness and complainant Jagdish Kaur recorded by GT Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra Commissions cannot be used because of contradictions.
CBI, in its response to the application, said the accused, by filing these kind of pleas, were delaying the proceedings of the case which is at its concluding stage.
"They are not doing anything but they are just delaying the process by filing this application, this plea is void. We have to see whether this is maintainable," Cheema argued.
The CBI said that as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, the affidavits and statements of a witness given before any commission cannot be used against her for the purpose of contradiction or impeaching her testimony.
The agency said the defence cannot confront the witness asking that she had said something else in affidavits and statements before the commissions and was deposing something else in the court.
Advocate I U Khan, appearing for Sajjan Kumar, said "the prosecution is trying to say that it will use those affidavits/statement for securing our (accused) conviction but will not allow the accused to use that part of examination in chief."
Sajjan Kumar, Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal are facing trial in the killings of six people in Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 carnage which had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
They are accused of instigating a mob to attack and kill the Sikhs.