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Pak should conduct open trial in 26/11 case: Ujjwal Nikam

Last Updated: Friday, October 2, 2009 - 15:58

Vadodara: Special Public Prosecutor in the 26/11 terror attack case Ujjwal Nikam Friday demanded that the Pakistani court should conduct an open trial in the case, slated to begin there tomorrow.

Talking to reporters here, Nikam said "the trial in 26/11 case is being conducted in an open court in Mumbai then what prevents Pakistan from not doing so?" he asked.

Criticising statements coming from Pakistan that Indian Government has not provided enough evidences to arrest Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the main accused in the case, Nikam said it was for Pakistani agencies to investigate the case after India had provided six dossiers to the neighbouring country.
Open trial in the case makes it more transparent and does not leave any ground for raising doubt over credibility and reliability of trial in the court, Nikam said.

Enough security has been provided for conducting the open trial in the case in Mumbai, he pointed out.

Nikam was in the city to inaugurate a three-day national law fest organised by the Faculty of Law of Maharaja Sayajirao University and Baroda Legal School, in which budding lawyers from 27 law colleges across the country are participating.

He said that the trial has reached its fag end and prosecution`s argument in the 26/11 case is expected to be over by end of this month. This will be followed by the defence side putting up their case, he said.

Speaking after inaugurating the national law fest, Nikam demanded a three-month time limit for taking a decision on the mercy petition of an accused who has been awarded the death penalty by the court.
Nikam said after the three-month period is over, it should be presumed that his mercy plea has been rejected by the President/Governor to be followed by the execution of
convicted accused. He pointed out several cases where mercy petitions have been pending for more than 10 years and no decision being taken on it.

Welcoming amendment in the criminal procedure code, he asked the participants to get ready for coping up with the challenge and suggested radical changes in the legal system.

Nikam favoured admissibility of statement by the accused before the police as evidence, saying it exists in the US where statement made before the Federal Bureau of Investigation is taken as an evidence.

The prosecutor suggested framing a penal provision for the police if they misused their powers for this purpose. He said it is a team work of every one including investigating
police in getting accused convicted of charges.

In his keynote address, R S Verma, former director of forensic science laboratory at Chandigarh, emphasized on the need of identification of proper material for convicting the accused.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 2, 2009 - 15:58

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