The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan’s unconditional apology for calling the Bulandshaher gang rape incident a “political conspiracy,” saying he has expressed “sincere and heartfelt remorse”.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra accepted Khan’s expression of remorse after senior advocate Fali Nariman said it’s stronger than apology. Nariman was assisting the court on the issue of whether political leaders should be allowed to comment on gruesome crimes.
The bench had last week rejected Khan’s three-page written apology, saying it was not unconditional as promised by the Samajwadi Party leader.
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 an action against Khan and in the wake of his statement sought the transfer of the case to the CBI.
“… 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 rejected last week.
“There should be no ifs and buts,” the bench had said, terming it unacceptable.
But on Thursday, Khan in his affidavit said if the aggrieved family was “insulted or humiliated” by any of his statement, he expresses “sincere and heartfelt remorse” in this regard.