The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday Azam Khan’s written apology for calling the Bulandshahr gang rape incident a “political conspiracy”, saying it was not unconditional as promised by the Samajwadi Party leader.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra had objection to the three-page affidavit that continued to blame the media for misreporting Khan’s statement.
“…If any word or deed of the answering respondent has caused any pain to the victims or their family, who have already suffered so much, then the answering respondent unconditionally and without reserve expresses his sincere and heartfelt remorse at anything said by him which may have unintentionally added to their suffering,” read Khan’s affidavit.
The SP leader had termed the July 29 incident by a group of highway robbers as an attempt to malign the Akhilesh Yadav government. The girl’s father moved the top court for action against Khan and in the wake of his statement sought the transfer of the case to the CBI.
“There should be no ifs and buts,” the bench said, telling the counsel it was unacceptable. Senior advocate Fali Nariman, who is assisting the court on the issue of whether political leaders should be allowed to comment on gruesome crimes, asked the court to disregard the apology.
“This is not what he had promised,” Nariman told the bench. Appearing for Khan, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that his client wanted to use the word remorse instead of apology. “It’s difficult for me to say whether he (Khan) will say the word apology. He intends to say remorse instead of apology.” The next date of hearing is December 15.