Veteran Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, today told a Delhi court that only three out of the 17 witnesses named him as allegedly having instigated the mob.
Continuing his final arguments in the case before District Judge JR Aryan, Kumar's counsel IU Khan said the investigating officer (IO) had "specifically" asked several witnesses about the former MP's presence in Delhi Cantonment area, where the incident took place, but they had denied it.
"Out of 17, only 3 witnesses took Kumar's name that they had seen him in the area during the riots or heard him giving the alleged speech. The IO had specifically asked six witnesses about Kumar's presence, but they had denied seeing him," he said.
The counsel also contended that the CBI had conducted an "unfair investigation" in the case in which five Sikhs were killed in the area during the riots that broke out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
"The CBI had conducted an unfair investigation as it had been compelling the witnesses to name Kumar in the court but they still did not say that they had seen him instigating the mob," the counsel said.
Sajjan Kumar is facing trial along with five others - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in Delhi Cantonment area here.
The counsel argued that though the probe agency had named several persons as material witnesses in the case, they failed to produce them in the court on the pretext that they were not traceable.
The counsel said the witnesses were "available" as they all were government officials and their records were also there but "they were not examined and were dropped after they refused to depose on the line of CBI".
The CBI had earlier told the court that there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during the riots.
The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission. The CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.
The trial court had in May 2010, framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and the five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC.
Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in three separate cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against the Sikh community during the 1984 riots.