Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the conviction of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab and the acquittal of two persons in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case showed India is governed by rule of law. It also sent a strong message to Pakistan that it should not export terror.
“The court has convicted certain accused. It has also acquitted two accused. That shows the independence, fearlessness and integrity of the court,'' the Minister told journalists.
Mr. Chidambaram said it was an open trial in accordance with the law and full opportunities were given to the accused to defend themselves. “I am satisfied that within a year we have been able to bring a verdict of conviction of a large number of accused in perhaps a very complex trial. The trial underlines the fact that India is a country governed by rule of law. A criminal trial can only proceed step by step and within a year, the prosecution has been able to get conviction,” Mr. Chidambaram, himself an eminent lawyer, said.
On the message to Pakistan, he said the judgment “is a message to Pakistan that they should not export terror to India. If they do and if the terrorists are apprehended, we will be able to bring them to justice and give them exemplary punishment.”
Mr. Chidambaram complimented the investigating agencies and prosecution for marshalling evidence that proved beyond doubt the terror crimes and killings Ajmal Kasab and his associates were charged with.
Asked if Kasab's case would meet the same fate as that of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, whose mercy petition against his death sentence is still pending, he wondered why the media was obsessed with the issue like the Opposition. “The Opposition may be obsessed with Afzal Guru. I have explained so many times and I am surprised that you in the media are repeating the question.”
“We will take up each case according to the order in which the case is pending before the Ministry of Home Affairs and before the President of India. So, the cases will be taken up one by one,” he said.