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1984 anti-Sikh riots case: Tytler moves Delhi court to appear virtually

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who is facing charges related to the death of three Sikh men in the national capital’s Pul Bangash area during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has filed a request with a Delhi court to be allowed to attend proceedings through video conference, his lawyer said on Thursday. 

According to Tytler’s lawyer Manu Sharma, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidhi Gupta Anand is expected to make a decision regarding Tytler’s virtual appearance on Friday. 

The plea was presented in court on the grounds of security concerns. 

Tytler’s advocate has appealed for the court’s authorisation for his client to participate remotely, citing a recent protest by the Sikh community during Tytler’s in-person appearance on August 5. 

Last week, on August 5, the court, after accepting a bail bond from Tytler, posted the matter for the next hearing on August 11. 

The development came a day after Special Judge Vikas Dhull had granted anticipatory bail to Tytler. 

During the hearing, Tytler’s wife, Jennifer stood security for him in the case, and the court verified her identity and financial status. 

After noting that she was financially independent, the court accepted her as a surety. 

Tytler was brought to court amid high security. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) members staged a protest outside Rouse Avenue Court, voicing their opposition against Tytler. 

Raising slogans while holding placards and posters, scores of people demanded justice while protesting in front of the court. 

A minor clash was also reported between the protesters and police. 

Judge Dhull had granted relief to Tytler on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount. 

The case pertains to when the Gurdwara Pul Bangash at Azad Market was set on fire by a mob on November 1, 1984 and three persons, namely Sardar Thakur Singh, Badal Singh and Gurcharan Singh, were burnt to death. 

The incident took place a day after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. 

In its chargesheet filed in court, the CBI has said that Tytler incited, instigated and provoked the mob that had assembled at the gurdwara, which resulted in the burning down of the shrine and killing of the three persons. 

Charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 109 (abetment) read with 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), among others, have been invoked against Tytler by the probe agency. On June 2, the Rouse Avenue Courts approved a supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI against Tytler in the riots case and also transferred the case to the special MP-MLA court for trial. 

The court had earlier also instructed the CBI to expedite the process of obtaining the forensic report of Tytler’s voice sample.

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