New Delhi: The Home Ministry is
considering legal options to gain direct access to American
terrorist David Headley, notwithstanding a declaration by the
US that no decision has been taken to allow India direct
access to him.
Special Secretary (Internal Secretary) U K Bansal
tonight met Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and discussed
with him about the options available before Indian
investigators to question Headley under the plea bargain
agreement between him and the American government.
Sources said investigators believe that access to
Headley, who has admitted to plotting the audacious Mumbai
terror attack, can be obtained only through legal channels as
he is under the custody of court, which functions under the
"These are legal matters where law prevails and
opinions or statements of individuals do not bear much
significance," a source said.
The Home Ministry may take help, if necessary, of a
few Indian lawyers who are familiar with the American legal
Under the plea bargain, India can have access to the
49-year-old terrorist by deposition, video conferencing or
through Letters Rogatory. Sources said India will like to
explore all the three.
Investigators believe that following the plea
bargaining, Headley will give his statement to Indian
investigators truthfully and correctly.
Four days after US Assistant Secretary of State for
South Asia Robert Blake publicly stated here that the Indian
investigators will have access to Headley, American Ambassador
Timothy J Roemer said in a statement that "no decision on
direct access for India to David Headley has been made."
Headley had last week pleaded guilty to all the 12
terror charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places
in India, murdering and maiming persons and providing material
support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT
besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens
in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people.
The US, which had so far denied India the right to
question Headley who was arrested by the FBI in October last
year, said he has agreed to "fully and truthfully" participate
in this process which has to be undertaken only on American