No counsel for Peerbhoy after withdrawal of approver plea

Mansoor Asgar Peerbhoy,the alleged media wing head of the Indian Mujahideen,does not have a lawyer representing him in the case after he withdrew his application to turn approver.

Written by Mustafa Plumber | Mumbai | Published:February 19, 2009 1:00 am

Mansoor Asgar Peerbhoy,the alleged media wing head of the Indian Mujahideen,does not have a lawyer representing him in the case after he withdrew his application to turn approver. His erstwhile lawyer Subhas Kanse also withdrew his vakalatnama on Tuesday.

Kanse said,“The relatives of Peerbhoy had come to me seeking legal assistance for Peerbhoy being made an approver. My job ended as soon as his application was withdrawn.” The family is yet to appoint a new defence lawyer.

Meanwhile,a day after Peerbhoy withdrew his application,the prosecution said he may not have intended to help prosecution unravel the conspiracy of the group. The Mumbai Police crime branch and the prosecution said Peerbhoy had dubious intentions while moving the application.

Peerbhoy had withdrawn his application on Tuesday even before the prosecution could file its reply on it. He had moved the application before the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on October 21,2008,the second remand date,after the police applied MCOCA on the Wi-Fi hacking cases at Khalsa College and Chembur.

Special Public Prosecutor Kalpana Chavhan said: “Peerbhoy is tech-savvy and is highly indoctrinated with the jihad theory. He had drafted the application to turn approver after a long thought out process and legal advice. We deliberately delayed filing a reply to it because we apprehended that if he was pardoned he could avail himself of certain benefits like bail. And once released,he might have misused the freedom to indulge in similar activities for which he has been arrested.”

Mansoor Peerbhoy,who allegedly sent the e-mails prior to the serial blasts in Delhi and Ahmedabad last year,was arrested at his Pune residence on September 28,2008,and has since then been in custody.

According to the law,an accused — if accepted as an approver — by the court can be granted bail soon after the court gives him pardon. If he turns hostile,the approver faces trial,as per section 306 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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