A Mumbai based senior criminal lawyer, Abbas Kazmi, has been anointed to defend 26/11 Mumbai terror suspect Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab. It may be mentioned that Kasab’s former counsel, Anjali Waghmare, was removed by the special court a day earlier on grounds of professional misconduct.
Another lawyer, K P Pawar, appointed last month, will continue to assist Kazmi, who was appointed by special judge M L Tahilyani on Thursday replacing Anjali.
Kasab, present in the trial on the second day, had earlier demanded a Pakistani lawyer for his defence. However, his plea was rejected by judge Tahilyani. But the special court said if the Pakistani government or his family members wished to appoint an Indian lawyer, they were free to do so.
Early in the morning, the sessions court’s bar council had put forward the names of a few lawyers to the special court to select one of them to defend Kasab.
On Wednesday, Kazmi had said that most lawyers were disinclined to take the responsibility of defending the terrorist in view of strong public sentiments. He also cited the instance of the attack on Waghmare’s home after her appointment as Kasab’s counsel last month.