October 8, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (October 08, 2013): It is learnt that senior advocate H.S Phoolka has written a letter to Delhi commissioner of police to provide security cover to all witnesses, including Joginder Singh, Sheela Kaur and Popro Kaur, in a November 1984 Sikh massacre realted case against Sajjan Kumar.
Advocate H.S. Phholka has said that the authorities have failed to provide security to witnesses against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh riots even though the order had been passed on September 27.
The Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) had asked police to provide 24-hour security to three witnesses in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases involving senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.
DS Punia, member secretary of DLSA had directed Delhi police commissioner to provide security to prosecution witnesses Sheela Kaur, Popri Kaur and Joginder Singh after they expressed apprehension of threats. A CBI report was also filed subsequently.
Secretary is the nodal officer appointed by the high court earlier in a similar matter till the enactment of new legislation on the issue. The nodal officer also asked other six witnesses to appear before him on October 10.
On September 18, a bench headed by chief justice N V Ramana had referred the matter to DLSA while hearing a PIL for direction to provide protection to the witnesses in 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
The bench had asked senior advocate HS Phoolka, counsel for petitioner, to approach the DLSA.
A PIL was then filed in the high court by ‘November 1984 Carnage Justice Committee’ for a direction to Delhi and Punjab governments to provide security to the witnesses during the pendency of the cases before the trial court.
Citing a list of witnesses in November 1984 Sikh Genocide related cases, the PIL said, “Despite various judgements and orders passed by various courts, including the high court and the apex court, to the effect that the witnesses should not be allowed to come under pressure of the accused and that it is the duty of the government to provide adequate protection to the witnesses, the respondents have failed to abide by the same.”
According to the plea, the witnesses belong to poor strata of society and are not only scared but “under constant threat from accused Sajjan Kumar” and would lose their odd jobs.
It referred to a recent judgement on witness protection issue in Jessica Lal murder case and said the Delhi high court had directed the government to frame witness protection policy but nothing has been done so far.
The PIL said the Punjab government had earlier provided security to the witnesses on CBI’s request in the cases but it was withdrawn later.
The PIL further said that on the plea of witnesses, the trial court had in July directed the investigating officer to provide his phone number to the witnesses but not directed the government to provide security to them.
In July 2010, the trial court had framed charges against Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with the case of killing of six persons in the riots that had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
Besides charges of murder and rioting, the trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of justice GT Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence.
While talking to Times of India (TOI) on October 07, Advocate H.S. Phoolka reportedly said that Delhi high court had directed to provide appropriate security to witness of November 1984 case wherein Sajjan Kumar is an accused
“Till today, no security had been provided to any of these 3 witnesses,” he reportedly said, adding that on top of it, all the witnesses in the Sajjan Kumar case including these 3 have been directed to come to the police station.
He added that these witnesses belong to very poor strata of society.
“These people got scared when they were called to the police station adding that there was absolutely no reason for the police to call them to the police station. The court had directed that security be immediately provided, which the Delhi police failed to do,” Advocate Phoolka reportedly said.
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