New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Equating terrorists with animals, a senior Supreme Court judge Tuesday said people speaking for their rights are actually advocating "animal rights".
"Those who violate the rights of society and have no respect for human rights are not humans but animals. And people fighting for terrorists are actually supporting 'animal rights'," said Justice Arijit Pasayat, addressing a conference organised by the Indian Law Institute.
Speaking on 'Investigation and Prosecution of Offences Related to Terrorism', Pasayat called for a united effort to fight terrorism.
Blaming society for the spurt in terrorist attacks, Pasayat, the third most senior judge of the apex court, said: "We are hypocrites and speak in different tones when it comes to terrorism."
Advocating stringent anti-terror laws, the judge said: "It is important to have special laws to deal with terrorists and we need to give enough time to our investigators and prosecutors to prepare the case with strong evidence."
Echoing Pasayat's views, senior advocate Fali S. Nariman said terrorists could not be equated with those accused of petty offences.
Nariman advocated taking away the right of silence from terrorists and advised the government to re-consider the Malimath Committee's recommendations that suggested amendment in one of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code to combat terrorism.
"If an alleged terrorist refuses to answer the court's query, the presiding judge should be empowered to draw an adverse inference against him," said Nariman.
Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati said since Pakistan was unwilling to assist India in combating terrorism, it was time to strengthen the criminal justice system.
"If a lawyer does not want to fight for Kasab, we should not force him or her to do so. Let Kasab defend himself before the court, if he can speak another language other than terrorism," he said, referring to Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist captured during the Nov 26 Mumbai attack.