Wednesday, September 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Liberhan panel issues NBW against Kalyan
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 1
Taking a serious view of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s failure to appear before it to depose as a witness, the Liberhan Commission probing the demolition of Babri Masjid, today issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him and directed the authorities to ensure his presence on September 23 and 24.

Justice M S Liberhan did not agree with the contention of Kalyan Singh’s counsel that the former Chief Minister could not appear as the UP Assembly was to meet today. The commission said this was not a satisfactory reason for his failure to appear before the panel when he had earlier been given three weeks’ time and the hearing had been adjourned on his request.

He could not ignore the commission’s order after he was issued summons to appear before it, Justice Liberhan said rejecting his counsel’s plea for further adjournment.

Mr Kalyan Singh had yesterday challenged his summoning before the Delhi High Court, which issued notices to the Union Government and the commission, seeking their replies by September 5 as to why his writ petition should not be admitted.

He had taken the stand in the High Court that he could not be forced to depose by the commission as he was facing trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case and any statement given by him before the panel, would prejudice his case.

Mr Kalyan Singh’s counsel had during the last hearing sought four weeks’ time from the commission to examine all the papers relating to Ayodhya issue, dealt by him as Chief Minister before he was called upon to record his statement. It was on the request of his lawyer that the commission had allowed him three weeks’ time to examine the documents. The panel had made it clear that the time was being given to him only if he assured that he was ready to depose as a witness.

Lucknow: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Rashtriya Kranti Party (RKP) chief Kalyan Singh today reiterated his stand that he would appear before the Liberhan Commission only if Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy Lal Krishan Advani were also summoned along with him.

Mr Singh, one of the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, said on his petition the Delhi High Court had already issued notices to the Prime Minister, Deputy PM, the UP government and others as to why they had not been summoned.

The HC was slated to give its ruling on September 5. — UNI

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