26/11 judgment a message to Pak: PC

Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that the outcome of the 26/11 trial is a clear message to Pak.

Updated: May 03, 2010, 19:43 PM IST

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram
on Monday said that the conviction of Ajmal Kasab and acquittal of
two local accomplices in Mumbai attack case shows India is
governed by rule of law but sends a message to Pakistan that
it should not export terror.

"The court has convicted certain accused. It also
acquitted two accused. That shows the independence,
fearlessness and integrity of the court," he told reporters
reacting to the judgement of a Mumbai special court.

He said that it was an open trial in accordance with
law and full opportunities were given to the accused to defend
themselves.

"I am satisfied that within a year we have been able to
bring a verdict of conviction of a large number of accused in
perhaps a very complex trial.

"The trial undermines the fact that India is a country
governed by rule of law. A criminal trial can only proceed
step by step and within a year, the prosecution has been able
to get conviction," he said.

Asked what was the message for Pakistan, the Home
Minister said the judgement "is a message to Pakistan that
they should not export terror to India. If they do and if the
terrorists are apprehended, we will be able to bring them to
justice and give them exemplary punishment".

Happy over the trial ending in conviction, Chidambaram
complimented the investigating agencies and prosecution for
marshalling evidence that proved beyond doubt the horrific
crimes Kasab and his associates were charged with.

Despite demands swayed by anger and emotions, he said,
government decided that Kasab and associates should be tried
in accordance with law, given all the rights available to any
accused.

Asked if Kasab`s case would meet the same fate as
Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, whose mercy petition
against death sentence is pending, Chidambaram expressed
surprise why the media was obsessed with the issue like the
Opposition.

"The Opposition may be obsessed with Afzal Guru. I have
explained so many times and I am surprised that you in the
media repeating the question.

"We will take up each case according to the order in
which the case is pending before the Ministry of Home Affairs
and before the President of India. So, the cases will be taken
up one by one," he said.

The Home Minister said his Ministry already has sent
four cases after reconsideration.

"Please remember that all these cases have been sent to
President once. After reconsideration, we have sent four cases
to President. We will continue to send one case to the
President. No one can speak what the President will do. I
think we should respect the office of the President.
Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said Kasab`s conviction
proved the rule of law prevailed in the country.

"The conviction of Kasab is a victory of the judiciary.
It proves the rule of law prevails," he told reporters outside
Parliament House.

To a question on whether trials pertaining to terror
activities should be fast-tracked, the Minister said there are
no short-cuts and procedures have to be followed during the
trials.

Even during the Kasab trial, the system had worked
very efficiently though it was a long wait for family members
of the victims to get justice.

PTI