SCOTLAND's top law officer is to meet the family of murder victim Surjit Singh Chhokar following calls for a fresh investigation in the case.

Arrangements are being made for Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland to discuss the case with relatives of the Indian waiter, who was stabbed to death outside his home in Overtown, Lanarkshire, on November 4, 1998.

The murder, dubbed Scotland's Stephen Lawrence case, sparked controversy after authorities failed to secure a conviction for Mr Chhokar's killing despite the arrests of three men and two subsequent trials.

Ronnie and Andrew Coulter and David Montgomery – who continue to live near the murder scene – were acquitted of killing the 32-year-old after blaming each other during their trials.

However, reforms in Scotland's double-jeopardy law, which came into force at the end of last year, mean they could face retrial if new evidence surfaces.

The Crown Office yesterday confirmed Mr Mulholland and Solicitor-General Lesley Thomson will both meet the Chhokar family. A spokesman said: "The Lord Advocate has spoken with Aamer Anwar, the family's solicitor, and confirmed that the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General would be pleased to meet the family. Arrangements are now being put in place."

Mr Chhokar's elderly father, Darshan Singh Chhokar – who vowed to fight for justice until his last breath – is facing cancer for the third time.

The 73-year-old has battled for over a decade to see his son's killers convicted and is now pinning his hopes on the Crown Office re-opening the case.

His granddaughter, Jasneet Sangha, 30, said: "Things have looked bleak before, but he overcame his illness. This time, we just don't know what his chances are.

"My grandfather and grandmother are both hopeful of justice. They want it so badly, but they no longer have the energy to campaign for it."

Mr Chhokar's sister, Manjit Sangha, added: "All we want from them is to have a look at the case again, please. And do something for us so my parents can have peace of mind before they die.

"We lost everything on that night when Surjit died.

"Then we had a chance of justice when the three men were charged. But it's been 13 years. We're still standing at the same place 13 years on. No justice has been given to us."

The meeting has been facilitated by Mr Anwar, who wrote to the Lord Advocate to request a meeting on their behalf. The letter stated that the Chhokars want the investigation to be re-opened with a view to prosecuting the killers if new evidence or other relevant matters come to light.

Mr Anwar wrote: "We believe that there must be individuals who saw what happened that night. Either through fear or some other reason, they failed to come forward.

"Thirteen years later, these individuals may be the key, but if the Crown Office and police do not offer the window of opportunity then we will never know.

"We would request the Crown Office consider instructing Strathclyde Police to launch a public appeal in partnership with the family for witnesses to come forward.

"Just as in Stephen Lawrence's case, the killers of Surjit Singh Chhokar should not rest easy in their beds."

Ronnie Coulter, 43, who now lives in a flat less than a mile away from the murder scene, was tried in 1999 but was acquitted after blaming his nephew Andrew Coulter, 30, of the killing.

David Montgomery, who has since moved to the nearby village of Newarthill, and Andrew Coulter, whose home is just 100 yards away from the crime scene, were tried the following year and also acquitted after turning the blame back on Ronnie Coulter.

The trio, who remain well-known in the area, have refused to speak about the case.

Following their trials, two official inquiries were carried out into the way the case was handled by the authorities.

One made allegations of "institutional racism" within the police and prosecution service, while the other criticised the Crown for prosecuting Ronnie and Andrew Coulter separately.

Following the publication of the reports in 2001, the then Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC, said the Chhokar family had been failed by the police and prosecution services.