Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan Wednesday told the Supreme Court that he would rather express “remorse” instead of furnishing an “apology” over his comments describing the July 30 Bulandshahr gangrape of a woman and her teenage daughter as a “political conspiracy”.
“It is difficult for me to say apology, but I am ready to express remorse,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Khan, submitted before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy.
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Sibal’s statement came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, who has been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, objected to the affidavit filed by Khan pursuant to the court order.
The affidavit read that “if any word or deed of (his) has caused any pain to the victims or their family, who have already suffered so much, then (he) unconditionally and without reserve expresses his sincere and heartfelt remorse at anything said by him which may have unintentionally added to their suffering”.
Nariman and Rohatgi contended that it was not unconditional apology and did not meet the requirement. At this, Sibal requested the bench to ignore the affidavit and let him file a fresh affidavit.
The court gave him time till December 15 to file the “requisite” affidavit, and maintained that it would examine on the next date whether apology or remorse in this case would suffice.
Even if Khan is discharged from the case, the bench said, the issue if the Constitution permitted a person holding public office or in-charge of government to make comments — in case of offences of rape, gangrape and murder — that has potential to create distrust on fair investigation would be adjudicated by the court.