Mumbai, Nov 30 (Inditop.com) S.G. Abbas Kazmi, the lawyer for 24/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, was Monday sacked by the special court for “non-coooperation” and replaced by his assistant.
The move by Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani, who is presiding over the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks trial, came three days after Kazmi submitted an unconditional apology for “lying”.
The judge also ordered that the case of Kasab, the sole Pakistani terrorist captured alive, would now be handled by Kazmi’s assistant, lawyer K.P. Pawar. Pawar was also appointed by the state in the most high-profile legal trial in the country.
In the morning, the special judge asked Kazmi to consider a list of 71 witnesses from the new list of 340 formal witnesses submitted by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam last fortnight.
However, rejecting the suggestion, Kazmi insisted on examining all the 340 witnesses.
At this, Tahaliyani flared up and said Kazmi was “not cooperating” with the court and was attempting to drag the case.
He also said Kazmi seemed to have developed a feeling that he had become “indispensable” in the matter and that the trial could not continue without him.
“This gives out wrong signals to everybody. It is high time that Kazmi withdraws from the case or the court will terminate his services,” Tahaliyani said.
When Kazmi refused to withdraw, the judge ordered his sacking.
He also ordered Kazmi to immediately pass on all the papers and documents pertaining to the case to his assistant Pawar.
Last Thursday, the first anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, Kazmi was accused of telling a “lie” in the Special Court.
The issue arose after Nikam expressed his intention to examine another 340 formal witnesses in the terror attacks trial through right to affidavit and sought permission to do so. These would be in addition to the 271 witnesses examined by Nikam in the last eight months of trial.
When Kazmi claimed he was not informed of this development, Nikam pointed out that not only had he expressed his intention to examine the formal witnesses through affidavit right at the early stages of the trial in May this year, but on Nov 17, 2009, had even sent all the copies of the 340 affidavits to the defence lawyer.
Taking serious note of the issue, the judge severely reprimanded Kazmi and threatened to remove him for his wayward behaviour.
However, last Friday, after Nikam’s intervention, Kazmi tendered an unconditional apology and was allowed to continue.
Tahaliyani had also granted Kazmi’s plea of deleting the word “liar” from his earlier order.