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US court incompetent to try Headley under IPC: Ujjwal Nikam

The charges for which Headley has been convicted by the US court and the charges filed against him in India are entirely different says Ujjwal Nikam.

UjjwalA special TADA court made American terrorist of Pakistan origin David Coleman Headley, an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case and has asked him to appear before the court through video links on December 10. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that American court is incompetent to try offences under Indian Penal Code. Earlier the Mumbai police had filed an application before special TADA court to allow Headley to attend the court via video conferencing on December 10. The sessions court had earlier this month reserved its order on the Mumbai Police’s plea. The 26/11 trial against Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal is going on in Mumbai. TADA court has framed charges against Ansari for his alleged role in the 26/11 terror attacks but the prosecution wants Headley to be tried along as well.

“We had moved to the court on the basis of the judgment passed by the US Court that David Headley being one of the conspirators, should be joined as one of the accused along with Indian citizen Abu Jundal,” Ujjwal Nikam, Special public prosecutor said.

“An American court is not competent to try offences under Indian Penal Code. The charges for which Headley has been convicted by the US court and the charges we are pursuing against him are entirely different,” he added.

Nikam contended that Headley had not been tried under Indian law for criminal conspiracy before his conviction in the US in 2013.

The prosecution had told the sessions court that Headley had not been tried under Indian law for 26/11 conspiracy.

The judge had then said that the judgement of a foreign court only has “persuasive value” and it cannot be relied upon as evidence. “He should have been made a wanted accused. You are coming with evidence collected by others,” Nikam added.

Headley was convicted in the US for conducting video-surveillance of locations targeted by Kasab and the other 9 terrorists in November 2008. He also surveyed possible locations in Delhi for a terror attack and communicated his findings to the LeT in Pakistan and his associate Tahawwur Rana in USA.

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