A Delhi court today dismissed Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's plea seeking to drop nine CBI witnesses in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which he and three others are facing prosecution.
District judge J R Aryan rejected the plea of accused Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, and Ved Prakash who had sought removal of CBI's witnesses claiming they were "irrelevant". The court also fixed January 10, 13 and 15 for commencing the trial in the case by recording of prosecution evidence.
While dismissing the plea of the accused, the court said it is for the CBI to see which witnesses are to be produced to support its case. When the defence counsel asked the CBI to tell them the names of the witnesses who will depose in the court, the prosecutor said they will not disclose the names in advance due to the threats being given to them.
The agency said it will inform the defence counsel the names of the witnesses only two-three days before their deposition.
The CBI had earlier said though the charge sheet pertains to killing of six persons it was only restricting the charge relating to murder of Surjit Singh and not of other deceased persons in respect of whom the trial had already taken place.
Kumar's counsel had said the CBI had filed a consolidated charge sheet of three separate FIRs and the nine prosecution witnesses, who are not related to the murder of victim Surjit Singh, should be removed.
He had said three separate FIRs were registered for the murder of six persons but if CBI was restricting its case to only one murder then the witnesses who are not related to this murder should be removed.
The CBI had, however, opposed the plea saying it was for the agency to decide who are relevant or irrelevant witnesses and whom they want to remove.