An Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) has rejected the report of a judicial commission, ruling that it could not be made part of the evidence against the seven suspects charged with involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage.
Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, the judge of the ATC, ruled that all the proceedings and report of the Pakistani judicial commission that visited India to question witness were illegal and against the law.
The court was hearing the petition against the judicial commission submitted by the accused in the case. Terming the Indian move of not allowing the commission’s access to witness in the case unlawful, the ATC rejected the report.
Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi observed, “The judge ruled that the commission’s report is illegal and could not be made part of the records for the case”.
In his view, the court has the right to examine whether the report of a commission was duly accomplished or not. The court in this specific case has stated that the report duly executed, therefore, it will not be read in evidence against the accused.
It is vital to mention here that an eight-member commission comprised prosecutors and defence lawyers toured India and interviewed a judge, a senior police officer and two doctors who conducted postmortems of the militants.
However, the Indian officials didn’t allow the commission to cross questioning the eye-witnesses citing there was no such agreement between the two countries.
Chief Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali had earlier informed the court that another commission could be sent to India to cross-examine eyewitnesses in the cases.
Upon which, the ATC said that if Pakistan and India, the two neighboring countries, could reach some new agreement that would allow the cross examination of eyewitness, the proceedings could be moved on.
After changing the judge five times since the proceedings begin in early 2009, the trail almost stalled since last year.
The decision could also affect the New Delhi’s plans to send a commission to investigate the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad has showed consent to grant permission to an Indian commission to come to Pakistan and probe the case.