Law bends before justice: Shanti Bhushan

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Former Union Law Minister and Senior Counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Shaukat Hussain Guru who has been serving ten year imprisonment in the Parliament attack case, today told the Supreme Court that ''justice was more important for a court of law than finality of proceedings''.

Appearing before a bench comprising Justices P P Naolekar and V S Sirpurkar, Mr Bhushan said, ''Even law bends before justice.'' He contended before the court that Hussain was never given an opportunity to defend himself on the point of the offence for which he has been sentenced.

The apex court had found Hussain guilty of an offence under section 123A (not informing the police about the conspiracy of which he was aware). However, he was tried only for an offence of criminal conspiracy under section 120B IPC.

Earlier, Hussain was sentenced to death by a trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court.

Over a dozen people had died in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001 and the dead included nine security personnel and five terrorists.

The trial court had given death sentence to Hussain, Mohd Afzal Guru and Prof Geelani of Dr Zakir Hussain College here in December 2002. The Delhi High Court, however, acquitted Geelani but maintained the death sentence of other two on October 29, 2003.

The Supreme Court, vide its judgement dated August 4, 2005, maintained the death sentence of Mohd Afzal Guru but changed the sections of offence for Hussain, sentencing him to ten year imprisonment for an offence under Section 123A IPC.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, opening the arguments for the state, contended that there was no error apparent involved in the judgement so far as conviction in sentence of Hussain was concerned.

Mr Bhushan, while concluding his argument, contended that the impugned judgemnet has no sanctity in the eyes of law and heavily relied on the judgement of the apex court in A R Antulay case.

Hussain's appeal has been dismissed by the court. Earlier, his review petitions as well as curative petitons were already dismissed.

The arguments, however, remained inconclusive and shall continue tomorrow.

UNI SC GL RN1710

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