New Delhi: Arms dealer and businessman Abhishek Verma revealed to the CBI that Congress leader Jagdish Tytler had told him in 2008 that he had met the then prime minister after which he got a clean chit for his alleged role in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, a lawyer told a court here on Wednesday.
Verma’s statement has been cited in the closure report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation giving a clean chit to Tytler.
The facts came into light after senior advocate H.S. Phoolka appearing for victim/complainant Lakhvinder Kaur, whose husband Badal Singh was killed in the riots, cited Verma’s statement – enclosed with the closure report – as he told a court here on Wednesday that Verma had mentioned that Tytler tried to influence one of the witnesses by giving him a hefty sum of money and promising to settle his son abroad.
In his statement, Verma said: “As per the deal, hefty amount was paid to Surinder Singh Granthi (witness who has died) besides settling his son Narinder Singh abroad. He (Tytler) also told me that he had mounted pressure on Narinder who in turn was to pressurise his father Surinder to change his statement in favour of Tytler.”
“He (Tytler) also boasted of having met the prime minister who in turn would ask CBI director to get the investigation conducted in his favour,” said Verma in his statement.
“He (Tytler) further boasted that it was due to his said meeting with the prime minister that CBI had given him a clean chit in the case but the judge was not inclined to accept the clean chit for which he (Tytler) was making effort to settle the issue with the judge,” Verma has said.
However, the name of the prime minister has not been mentioned and the CBI has filed the closure report three times.
According to the statement, the said conversation between Verma and Tytler took place in August-September 2008. The third closure report was filed on December 2014.
Phoolka has argued that it was shocking that even after receiving evidence of such incriminating nature, the CBI has submitted a closure report.
He also referred to the statement of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, who visited Teen Murti House where assassinated prime minister Indira Gandhi’s body was lying, and had mentioned he did not recollect whether Tytler was present there.
CBI recorded Verma’s statement on August 5, 2013 and Amitabh’s testimony on June 15, 2013.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Saurabh Pratap Singh Laler on Wednesday asked the CBI to file a reply by June 26 on the allegations that Tytler tried to influence witnesses.
In April 2013, a sessions court rejected the closure report and ordered the probe agency to further investigate the killing.
Acting on its direction, the CBI conducted further probe but again filed another closure report on December 24, 2014, in the magistrate’s court.