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No rights for terrorists, says Arun Shourie

No rights for terrorists, says Arun Shourie

Author: Agencies
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: February 14, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/no-rights-for-terrorists-says-arun-shourie/423557/

Civil liberties of terrorist or people who take to guns in order to harm the sovereignty of India need to be separated from that of ordinary citizens of the country, BJP leader Arun Shourie said in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

"Our Constitution strikes a balance between the liberties of the individual and what the State must do for its preservation and orderly life," Shourie said while delivering the 4th Justice P D Desai memorial lecture in Ahmedabad.

"While the Constitution has balanced our rights and liberties, it has subjected it to reasonable restrictions," he added.

Shourie said that while balancing individual liberty and national security priority should be given on the later, which is an issue of prime concern today.

"Those who take to guns need to tried under extraordinary law. Issue of liberty of terrorist who are out to break India should be separated from the liberties granted by our Constitution to an ordinary Indian citizen," the eminent author said.

Shourie was of the opinion that perpetrators of terror, be it from outside India or from within, should not be guaranteed any right under the Constitution.

He pointed out that all rights, freedom, and liberties can be restricted in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country.

Describing the present situation in context of terrorism, Shourie asserted that a war has been thrust upon the county and it is different kind of undeclared war.

"Terrorists and Naxalites are waging this war, propelled by countries like Pakistan, in order to overturn the Constitutional order in India," he said speaking on the subject, "Right to life and personal liberties in context of national security".

The Rajya Sabha MP in his lecture also narrated the history of preventive detention in the country and explained the need to bring it in force to deal with communist in India in early fifties.

Shourie explaining the reasons given by the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had justified the preventive detention, said that perspective of the Iron Man of India sixty-years ago in more apt in the present situation prevailing in the country.

Shourie said that procedural guidelines for arresting terrorist issued by the Supreme Court are not applicable in a situation like Kashmir.

He asked how can a security personnel, after an encounter with Pakistan-trained militants proceed step by step in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Apex Court as in the judgment of D K Basu Vs State of West Bengal.

Shourie, however, was promptly corrected with regard to the Supreme Court guideline by Justice M S Shah of the Gujarat High Court who was present in the audience.

Justice Shah said that the Apex Court guideline is in case of arresting a normal offender, with exception made in the case of terrorists attacks.

Claiming that around one third of all the districts in the country are affected by violence of one kind or the other, Shourie said that situation in India was bad, as people are getting accustomed to violence and corruption.

Expressing doubt over the intentions of the organisation who talk about the Human Rights of terrorists, Shourie said the records of such organisations should be subjected to minutest scrutiny.

Shourie said that the organisation who talk of human rights of terrorist are in fact serving their cause, and hence their fabrication should be nailed and made known to public.

"Failure to do so undermines the national security and eventually tells upon the liberties of the law abiding citizen," Shourie said.

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