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Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Her withdrawal may delay Kasab trial

If Anjali Waghmare appointed by the special court to defend Ajmal Amir Kasab steps down following Monday night’s attack on her house...

If Anjali Waghmare appointed by the special court to defend Ajmal Amir Kasab steps down following Monday night’s attack on her house,it may delay what’s being seen as the country’s most awaited trial,according to lawyers here.

As per procedure,if Anjali withdraws,the court will have to appoint another lawyer from the legal aid panel since Kasab had said he was unable to appoint one on his own. Deputy Secretary of the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority,Rajaram Pandey,said: “The court will have to appoint another lawyer if Anjali steps down.”

Defence lawyer Mubin Solkar who has appeared for several blast accused,said: “Without a lawyer,the case cannot continue and in a democracy such intimidating tactics used by the attackers is not permissible and should be dealt with sternly. Today,it was an attack on Kasab’s lawyer,tomorrow any lawyer in any case may be attacked.”

The attackers should understand that they are only delaying the trial and helping the accused,Solkar added.

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Anjali,who was appointed Kasab’s defence lawyer on Monday,is among the senior most lawyers in the seven who were shortlisted from the legal aid panel.

Anjali,who has appeared in many Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA),TADA,Prevention of Corruption Act and other cases,has been a member of the legal aid panel for the last 12 years.

Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said,“It is the state government’s duty to ensure that every accused is given a lawyer. If Kasab is not represented during the case,then the trial becomes null and void. This is not a small case,the entire world is watching how we deal with it and their opinion counts. Thus the least the state can do is ensure a smooth trial. For that,if it has to give security to the defence lawyer,it should not hesitate in doing so.”

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Omble’s brother among 9 arrested
Nine people,including Eknath Omble,the brother of Tukaram Omble who died while capturing Kasab on 26/11,have been arrested by the Worli Police for protesting outside Anjali Waghmare’s house at Shyama Quarters in Worli Police Camp on Monday night. A mob of around 60 had raised slogans against her for accepting her appointment as Kasab’s counsel.

Sainik storm?
The protesters are believed to have been mainly Shiv Sainiks,including some former corporators and sitting corporator Madhukar Dalvi. They were allegedly joined by relatives of some policemen who took offence that the wife of a policeman was representing Kasab. (Waghmare is the wife of an assistant police inspector).

Ex-corporators held
Apart from Dalvi and Eknath Omble,the other arrested were ex-corporators Kishwari Pednekar and Vatsala Jadhav (her husband is a constable),Jeevba Kisarkar,Abhijeet Patil,Vishwas Awhad,Anupama Parab and Deenananath Chougule.

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Charges: rioting to trespassing
The police have also detained a few people including Sena Vibhag Pramukh Ajay Choudhury for questioning. The arrested have been charged with rioting,threatening,unlawful assembly and trespassing. The Sessions Court has sought a detailed report on the night’s events based on which they intend to charge the accused with contempt of court.

Midnight attack
DCP (Zone 3) Suhas Warke said,“Our night duty officer received information about the mob at midnight. We sent officers to quell the mob.”

Cops guarding Waghmare
On Waghmare’s security,Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor said,“There was no bodily harm to her or her family. Her husband is a policeman. A case has been registered against those involved in the incident. Protection has been provided to her.” A woman constable and two cops are giving her round-the-clock security.

First published on: 01-04-2009 at 03:16:20 am
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