26/11: Pak law doesn`t permit taking voice sample

Rehman Malik said Pakistani govt will exhaust all possible means to give voice samples to India.

Thimphu: Pakistan says its Constitution does not permit taking voice samples of any accused but still it would "exhaust" all possible means to give voice samples of 26/11 suspects to India.

It also says it cannot be alone held responsible for the delay in the trial of Mumbai attack accused in a Rawalpindi court and that India should share the blame for taking almost a year in granting permission to a Pakistani judicial commission to visit India.

Pakistan`s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said according to the Pakistan Penal Code and the Act of Evidence, the only identification of an accused acceptable was the thumb impression and officially no photograph or voice of any accused can be taken.

"If I give the samples by any other means by recording their voice and send it to India, that will be challenged in Pakistani court and there will be contempt of court on the investigators and prosecutors," he said in an interview.

Malik said Pakistan government`s appeal to allow it to take voice samples of the accused was rejected by a lower court and he had discussed the issue with his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram.

"What is important is to go through the legal channel. So in the first level in the court, it was rejected – that government was not allowed to take samples of voice. Then we move to the next stage -- the higher court.

"The High Court, where we have appealed against the order of the lower court to allow the government to take the samples from the accused enabling us to send it to India," he said.

Making it clear that his government`s `neeyat` (intention) was very clear about bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks to justice, the Pakistani Minister said his government will "exhaust" all possible means to give voice samples to India.

"The moment the court permits us, we will definitely send (the voice samples to India). If the High Court rejects, we will go to the Supreme Court. We will exhaust every possible stage. We are doing (it) transparently and you can examine the law," he said.

When reminded that he had told Chidambaram, during their one-on-one meeting in Islamabad last year, that India would "not be disappointed" over its request for the voice samples, Malik said he stood by the assurance and New Delhi must understand the fact the Pakistan government was being governed by its Constitution.

"I will still say that you will not be disappointed. But one must understand that we are being governed by certain sections of the Constitution. So, now what is important is how to get that. I discussed (that) with Mr Chidambaram in detail," he said.

Referring to the trial of the seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks in a Pakistani court, Malik said, "Delay is there and the delay is not solely because of Pakistan. It is because the incident had happened in a second country".

"Now since the final chargesheet is already submitted and the accused have been arrested and their bails were rejected at the level of Supreme Court, the moment the judicial commission returns back (from India) after their work, I am sure it will go in fast track... but you know they (India) examined our request for the judicial commission almost a year," he said.

Malik said his government has done its best and the investigators produced enough proof against the accused and they are likely to be convicted.

He said there were two parts in the issue -- one was the investigation and prosecution and the other was judicial process.

"As far is the investigation is concerned, we have done our part. We have brought them to justice. Now it is up to the court. Obviously, no side can influence the court. Our `neeyat` (intention) is very clear," he said.

The Minister said the matter got delayed because the court wanted a judicial commission and now the government was taking permission for the Constitution of the judicial commission and it was sure that the permission would be given.

"So it is important that you cannot bypass the law," he said.

On India`s request to send a commission to Pakistan in connection with the 26/11 probe, Malik said his country agreed on the commission. When a request will come, it will be examined by the concerned law department and if they agree, it will be allowed to visit, he added.

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