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'Verdict proves impartiality of Indian judiciary'

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi/PTI
October 29, 2003 18:17 IST
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Leading lawyers termed the Delhi high court's decision to acquit suspended Delhi University lecturer S A R Geelani and Navjot Sandhu in the Parliament attack case as proof of the 'independence of the Indian judiciary'.

Senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal, who represented Geelani, said, "It would send the right signals in the international community about the independence of the Indian judiciary."

Incidentally, Ram Jethmalani and Shanti Bhushan, both former law ministers of India, had pleaded Geelani's case.

Welcoming Geelani's acquittal Jethmalani said, "This verdict will restore the confidence of the entire world, particularly the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir in the integrity and competence of the Indian judicial system. I think this is the greatest benefit of this judgment. I also think that it will help to solve the Kashmir problem."

Geelani's family is also relieved. "We had firm faith in the law and that my husband would be acquitted," Quratulin Arifa Geelani, wife of the Delhi University lecturer, told PTI. "We were convinced that my husband was implicated in the case. Since the day he was arrested we believed he would be acquitted."

Vijay Singh and Dr Tripta Wahi, both senior teachers at the Delhi University, expressed happiness at the Geelani's acquittal. "It is a victory for democratic forces," they said. They expressed their unhappiness over the manner in which various teachers organisations had left Geelani to fend for himself. "We had organised his defence against all odds and are glad our efforts have not gone waste," they said.

"I am glad the Delhi high court acquitted Navjot Sandhu who had no role in the conspiracy. We will appeal against death sentence to Shaukat Guru in the Supreme court," Nitya Ramakrishnan, who represented both Shaukat and Navjot, told
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Onkar Singh in New Delhi/PTI