Home Ministry backs special courts for expeditious trial of terror cases
New Delhi: Amid a row over arrest of some Muslim youths on terror charges, Union Home Ministry has backed a proposal to set up special courts for expeditious trial of terror cases and promised action against officers responsible for "knowingly" holding innocent persons in custody.
"The Ministry of Home Affairs strongly supports the proposal of special courts so that expedtious trial is possible....I am also of the view that arresting and keeping innocent persons in custody knowingly is indeed a serious offence and the government is committed to ensuring strong action against the officers responsible in all such cases.
"You have my assurance that this will happen," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday in a letter to Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan.
The Home Minister was responding to a letter written by Khan to him on February 6 in which, citing representations by Muslims and bodies and his meeting with stake-holders, the Minority Affairs minister had expressed concern over "wrong arrests" of Muslim youths in different parts of the country in terror cases.
Apprising the Home Ministry of the concerns expressed by Muslim bodies that the "draconian" provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act can be misused against minorities, Khan has proposed setting up of special courts to ensure speedy trial of all terror cases.
Khan had also flagged the issue of compensation to those youths who were arrested and then let off after courts found them not to be involved in the cases.
A delegation of national Muslim bodies had earlier met Khan in this regard on February 2.
Addressing the National Editors` Conference here, Khan said the Home Ministry`s "postive" view on the issue has now come. "We will follow it up," he said.
In his letter, Shinde assured Khan that although law and order is a state subject "we will take up any case which may be brought to our notice where innocent persons have been charged."
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