Nagpur: As reported earlier, Justice Sharad Bobde is in New York attending a UN conference on tackling terrorism.
Responding to a question on how courts can come together to foster regional and international cooperation and how the judiciary can help in the efforts to tackle terrorism Justice Bobde suggested the creation of a “common court” for countries in the SAARC region that comprises judges from each nation who can share their knowledge and tackle cross-border terrorism cases.
“The one incident which happened in India about terrorists crossing international border was 26/11 (Mumbai attack) and the…terrorists entered Bombay and did what they had to and they were guided throughout by…handlers from across the border who were guiding their action…throughout,” Justice Sharad Bobde said.
“This was the advantage they (terrorists) had and this was the disadvantage the Indian people had. They did not know what the plan was, where they would go next. It can be pointed out here that when those attacks happened Sharad Bobde was a Judge of the Bombay High Court and stationed in Mumbai, not far from where the attacks happened.
“This incident underscored the point for which this conference is convened and that is that judges must talk to each other,” he said participating in the open briefing here yesterday of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee on ‘Upholding Justice: The effective adjudication of terrorism cases’.
The UN event is very significant because it for the first time brought together Supreme Court justices from across the world to discuss how terrorism cases are handled in their respective countries.
“The entire discussion on sharing of knowledge and helping judges in other countries assumes that there are different courts in different countries separated from each other. Speaking mainly of the SAARC countries could we consider having a common court which comprises of judges from all (SAARC) countries who will share the matter and decide ?This will eliminate the entire problem of sharing of knowledge and other cross border (concerns),” he said.
He pointed out that India is tackling all kinds of terrorism, including political terrorism, narco-terrorism, separatist movements in the Northeast as well as cross-border terrorism on allegedly religious lines “which I don’t believe is really religious”.
“There are different problems and with different countries. If we could have judges from these countries on a common court, it would help a great deal. The modalities could be worked out but I would seriously recommend that this be considered by the committee,” he said.