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Make terms of commission clear, India tells Pakistan

New Delhi has sought the terms and conditions of a judicial commission Islamabad wants to send to India to examine the judicial officer who recorded the confessional statement of 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab as well as the chief investigative officer of the case.

delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2010 00:47 IST
Jayanth Jacob

New Delhi has sought the terms and conditions of a judicial commission Islamabad wants to send to India to examine the judicial officer who recorded the confessional statement of 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab as well as the chief investigative officer of the case. What India is waiting to see is whether Pakistan will insist on a “cross-examination” condition, sources said.

Islamabad had earlier rejected the Indian suggestion for a video conferencing of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R.V. Sawant Wagule, the judicial officer who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab and chief investigating officer Ramesh Mahale.

Sources said Pakistan conveyed to India such a mechanism is not entertained under the Pakistani laws.

“Earlier we heard through the Pakistan media that Islamabad wants the judicial officer, the investigative officer, and all the witnesses to be examined. But what Pakistan has of late conveyed to us is the setting up of a judicial commission, and we would like to know the terms and conditions of it,” said a government official.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rahman Makik had recently said the trial of LeT’s Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six suspects in 26/11 attacks case in a Pakistani court was “stuck” over the issue of video-conferencing. “Even under Indian law, under Section 164 CrPC, the magistrate who recorded the statement is examined as a witness. But let Islamabad tell us first what the scope of this commission is. We are not averse to the established practice of commissions dealing with such cases,” said an official.