India seeks SAARC bench for for 26/11 type terror cases

first_imgTo bring to justice perpetrators of trans-border terror attacks and crimes, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court has proposed the setting up of a common court for South Asia.Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde has suggested setting up of a common court for SAARC member countries to deal with cross-border terror attacks like 26/11 and crimes like smuggling of fake currency notes, drugs and weapons.”Could we consider having a common court for these countries that comprises of judges from all these countries that share the matter,” Bobde said addressing the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee in New York.In his emphatic address on need for common courts for cross-border terror cases, Bobde referred to the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack case. 166 people lost their lives when 10 Pakistani terrorists attacked Mumbai. He spoke of how terrorists, trained, armed and launched from Pakistan, had attacked Mumbai and were guided by their handlers in Pakistan throughout the three-daylong terror strike. “This was their advantage (plot hatched in Pakistan and handlers across the border) and the disadvantage India had was that they did not know what the plan was and where the attackers would go next,” Bobde added.”A court consisting of judges of all SAARC countries in the region will perhaps ensure swifter justice as it will ensure collaboration on trans-border cases,” sources said.”Justice Bobde also suggested a secure website that can provide judges of the member countries access to information available to other judges (in the SAARC region) on modus operandi of terror group, arms and equipment used by terrorists and their handlers,” sources added. Justice Bobde also suggested Apex Court judges visiting each other’s law academies to understand law and its application in member countries. Bobde’s idea was welcomed and supported by Nepal.advertisementThe discussion in New York had very interesting and unique aspects raised by judges from Afghanistan and Pakistan. “For example given the security situation in Afghanistan the Chief Justice there said he had even been unable to take a walk in the open in the past decade. Pakistan posed another peculiar point – the judge raised the issue of security of law officers and judicial system. He said when there is no security for prosecutors how there be witness protection,” sources privy to the discussion told Mail Today.”If we could have judges from these counties on a common court it would help a great deal. The modalities could be worked out,” Bobde said addressing the gathering of judges. Bobde was speaking on the aspect of regional effort to support the judiciaries of South Asia in the effective adjudication of terrorism cases.”The aim is to understand the issues that arise in speedy dispensation of justice in cases related to terror and trans-border crimes,” sources added. The counter-terrorism committee of the UN was established by the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) post the 9/11 terror attacks in US.”This idea will be difficult to implement,” feels Ujjwal Nikam, senior public prosecutor who handled the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks trial. “We do not have an extradition treaty with Pakistan and even if for example the SAARC court passes an order against Pakistan-based terrorists how will the court ensure that order is executed and action taken against the convicts remains the issue,” he said.”It is a very good suggestion. There is merit in it and needs to be worked out. Speedy resolution of terror cases is necessary and I am sure judges in SAARC countries will cooperate for its implementation,” said former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee.ALSO READ:26/11 attack trial: Pakistan asks India to send witnesses to record statementDelhi Police’s prized catch Abdul Karim Tunda let off in all 4 court caseslast_img