The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Court bemoans terror law rift

New Delhi, Dec. 18 (PTI): The special judge who sentenced to death three convicts in the Parliament attack case feels there is no consensus in the country to fight terrorism, with some states openly proclaiming that they will not implement the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

“There seems to be no national consensus in respect to the response to terrorism and terrorists and people of their clan,” said special judge S.N. Dhingra writing his 296-page judgment in the case.

Giving his verdict on the argument that police had not included provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance in the FIR against the four accused — Jaish-e-Mohammad militants Mohammad Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru, Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani and Shaukat’s wife Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru — the judge said: “Law in this country is in a state of constant flux.”

Though the anti-terror Act was passed by Parliament after consultation with the Law Commission of India, several state governments have announced they will not invoke it.

“When debate was going on in Parliament, the Maharashtra government made an application for withdrawal of Pota charges for an accused so that its party can oppose Pota in Parliament,” the judgment said.

“Tomorrow if state Assemblies in Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh … are made targets by terrorists, policemen will dare not register a case under Pota, although it may be obvious to the entire world that it is a terrorist attack,” Dhingra said, adding that “response of the people in this country to terrorism varies in accordance with their self interest”.

The court said “some states believe in bartering with the people, like Veerappan, instead of discharging their duty of protecting the lives of the people from criminals and terrorists”.

“Some believe in dealing with them and some in taking benefits from troubled waters,” the special judge said.

“Can under such circumstances an ordinary police inspector be blamed that he did not include the provisions of Poto when he sent the case for registration of an FIR.

“Is it not the executive fiat whether a case will be registered under Pota or not,” the judgment questioned.

Email This PagePrint This Page