PUNE: In the back drop of Mumbai terror attacks last year, P N Bhagwati, former chief justice of India, on Saturday said that it is high-time the
judiciary gives a serious consideration to terrorism cases by deciding it on a top priority.
Bhagwati said terrorist strikes have a severe bearing on public life because it creates a fear psychosis in their minds whenever such incident occur either in India or any other place in the world. He felt the judiciary should dispose off terrorism cases within six months of filing the chargesheet. "These incidents have an effect on the entire population and the judiciary instead of taking several years should give priority to such cases in larger public interest," Bhagwati stated.
The icon of Indian judiciary' was responding to questions raised by the students of the New Law College in Kothrud after he spoke on Human Rights and Terrorism'.
Bhagwati stressed the need to have a stringent law to tackle terrorism menace on par with foreign countries while responding to a query by a student who argued that the terrorists were not afraid of any consequences because of the delay in conducting trial.
"He (Kasab) should be entitled for legal aid. You cannot condemn him unless his guilt is established. He is a human being first. The court will establish his guilt. You cannot condemn him without a trial," Bhagwati stated.
After some members of the audience described the issue of representing Kasab as a waste of time, Bhagwati reminded them by saying "the people should have a sense of duty and that they should come forward to give evidence against the suspect involved in a serious crime."
When a student asked how can he protect himself from a terrorist attack, Bhagwati apprised him of his right to self-defence, but cautioned him by saying that the right should be exercised only in extreme situations. The public should co-operate with the law enforcing agencies while dealing with terrorism, he said.
Mukund Sarda, principal of New Law College, welcomed the guests and lawyer A U Pathan, member of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa proposed a vote of thanks.
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