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Present laws adequate to deal with terrorism: PC

May 06, 2010 19:49 IST

Rejecting Bharatiya Janata Party's demand for a specific anti-terror law, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said conviction of Ajmal Kasab in Mumbai attack case proved that present laws were adequate to deal with the menace.

However, the government is open to 'revisit' the laws if necessary. Replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the functioning of his ministry, Chidambaram said conviction of Kasab, lone surviving terrorist involved in Mumbai attack in 2008, was not on the basis of his confession but evidence.

In this context, he said, the amended Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act proved adequate for the prosecution and there was no need for separate provisions, as suggested by the BJP.

"For the present, laws are adequate. They have broad support of all sections...Let's try these acts. If necessary, we can always revisit them," he said.

The absence of the provisions in the UAPA, as suggested by the BJP, did not prevent success of Kasab's trial, the home minister said. The main Opposition had wanted provisions like admissibility of confession before a police officer, detention without trial of an accused for 180 days and denial of bail by judge if prosecution opposes it.

Chidamabaram said while he has respect for the views of the BJP, a large section of the society, particularly minorities and SCs/STs had rejected these ideas as they feared their misuse against them.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said though Kasab's conviction was a landmark event, he was disappointed because there were several other accused in the case living in Pakistan and the US from where not much cooperation is forthcoming.

He said BJP had serious reservations whether the present laws were enough to face the terror challenge.

After such an enormous crime like the Mumbai attack, "Is the Home Minister willing to introspect whether the present legal infrastructure is adequate?"

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