Mumbai: The lawyer for Pakistani gunman Ajmal
Kasab was on Thursday slapped with a notice by the Mumbai attack
trial court to explain why his services should not be
terminated for "misconduct" on a day when the prosecution was
due to wind up its case.
The action came after Kasab`s lawyer Abbas Kazmi told the
court that he did not care about affidavits of witnesses filed
by the prosecution inviting the ire of the judge who called
his remarks "irresponsible". Kazmi was appointed by the court.
Kazmi made the statement after Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam
informed Judge M L Tahaliyani that he desired to file 340
affidavits of formal witnesses and that copies of 233 such
documents have already been served on the defence lawyer.
When the judge asked Kazmi whether he wanted to cross
examine any of these witnesses, including victims` families,
doctors, fire brigade personnel and claimants of bodies, the
defence lawyer said he would declare his strategy after
prosecutor Nikam files these affidavits in the court.
Nikam said he had informed the court in his opening
address on May 8 that he would be filing such affidavits.
However, Kazmi said Nikam had not made such disclosure in
his opening address, prompting the judge to say that he
(Kazmi) was telling lies.
"This is a serious matter and you are telling lies. I now
have to consider whether to continue you as a defence lawyer.
You have been appointed by the court to defend the accused and
it is your duty to cooperate in the interest of justice",
judge Tahaliyani observed.
A visibly angry Nikam told reporters, "We were to wind up
our case today after examining 271 witnesses. The last witness
was to step in the box today, but defence lawyer`s stand has
delayed this." The trial commenced on May 8.