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Updated: December 6, 2010 07:03 IST

Pakistan judicial panel may be allowed to visit India

Sandeep Dikshit
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File photo shows a man watching a news report about 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab in Karachi. The Centre has sought the opinion of the Bombay High Court on allowing a Pak panel to verify statements of officers who had recorded Kasab’s confessional statement.
AP File photo shows a man watching a news report about 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab in Karachi. The Centre has sought the opinion of the Bombay High Court on allowing a Pak panel to verify statements of officers who had recorded Kasab’s confessional statement.

To verify statements of officers who recorded Kasab's confessions

The government may allow a Judicial Commission from Pakistan to record and verify the statements of judicial and investigating officers who had recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The government had written to the Bombay High Court seeking its opinion on this aspect. The reply is expected early this week. Officials said the government would then inform Pakistan of its decision.

The panel consists of prosecution and defence lawyers involved in the case against Pakistan-based conspirators of the Mumbai attacks. The two-lawyer commission will be accompanied by a coordinating officer.

India is willing to allow the lawyers to talk to the then Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and the Chief Investigating Officer of the Mumbai attacks case and not Kasab. It is not clear whether the commission will also speak to doctors who performed the post-mortem on the nine gunmen killed by Indian security forces.

Pakistan had mooted that a commission be sent to India to strengthen the case against its nationals arrested for involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks.

On Saturday, the public prosecutor at the Rawalpindi Anti-Terrorism Court said he had received indications of India agreeing to the request. However, no formal letter has been received so far, said sources at the Pakistan High Commission here.

Pakistan wanted to send the commission because its laws do not allow for examination through video-conferencing. India then asked Pakistan to send a formal proposal which it did a couple of months ago.

India sought clarifications on the law under which the commission will be set up and its composition, nature and scope. It was also made clear that no cross-examination would take place.

The Centre sought the Mumbai High Court's counsel after Pakistan conveyed that the Judicial Commission has been asked not to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses.

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