Govt asks HC to make availability of 26/11 judge for Pak Com

With a com from Pak in connection with Mumbai attack trial to arrive in Delhi next month, the Centre has requested the Bombay HC to ensure the availability of the judge who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab.

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 23:23 PM IST

New Delhi: With a commission from Pakistan
in connection with Mumbai attack trial all set to arrive here
next month, the Centre has requested the Bombay High Court to
ensure the availability of the judge who recorded the
confessional statement of Amir Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving
terrorist of 26/11 attack, during the visit.

The Home Ministry has written to the Bombay High Court
that Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RV Sawant
Waghule should be available for questioning by the Pakistani
Judicial Commission which will arrive India by May 15.

As part of the judicial process of 26/11 case in
Pakistan, the commission wants to visit India to take
statements of Waghule, Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale and
the doctor who carried out the post-mortem of the terrorists.

The Pakistani Commission wants to interview the key
witnesses in connection with the trial of seven Pakistani
suspects, currently in a jail in that country, in 26/11 Mumbai
attacks case.

Pakistan`s contention is that the charges against the
seven Lashkar-e-Taiba activists, including its operations
commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, are based on Kasab`s
statement in Mumbai and hence the magistrate and the IO`s
statements were absolutely necessary to submit before the
anti-terror court there.

India has already provided to Pakistan copies of Kasab`s
statement that was recorded in Hindi and Marathi in the
presence of Waghule. An English version is also available with
Pakistan.

India has agreed to Pakistan`s proposal to receive the
commission at the Home Secretary level talks held here last
month.

Pakistan too had agreed to allow an Indian commission to
visit that country in connection with 26/11 Mumbai terror
attack case.

"Pakistan conveyed its readiness, in principle, based upon
the principle of comity and reciprocity, to entertain a
Commission from India with respect to Mumbai Terror Attack
investigations. Modalities and composition in this connection
will be worked out through diplomatic channels," the joint
statement issued after the two-day meeting of the Home
Secretaries had said.

Pakistan had been dragging its feet on allowing Indian
investigators on its soil in relation to probing the source of
the Mumbai attack.

PTI