May 11, 2009 5:17:06 am
Sorry,I cannot pay,Kazmi responds
Ajmal Kasab,facing trial in the Mumbai attacks case,who had requested the special sessions court to allow him access to Urdu newspapers,has now turned to his lawyer Abbas Kazmi for help.
On Friday,Kasab asked Kazmi to lend him some money so that he could get a newspaper inside his closely monitored special cell inside the Arthur Road Jail.
According to jail rules,a prisoner has to buy his own newspapers. Kasab has no money on him and the court is yet to decide on his plea that he be given newspapers to read.
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Kazmi said,He asked for money from me to purchase newspapers. I told him that though I have been appointed his defence lawyer at the cost of the state,I cannot pay for his newspaper.
He added that Kasab,who is lodged in a barrack that is heavily guarded by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Mumbai police is not allowed to interact with anyone,and that he is getting impatient inside the cell. He has already informed the court that he is losing his mental balance in the special cell and has requested that he be allowed to take a walk on the verandah of the barrack, Kazmi said.
Jail sources said Kasab is removed from his cell only when he has to be produced in the courtroom. At all other times,he is confined to the cell,which has a small toilet. Kasab,who has been given a pair of kurta-pyjamas at the cost of the state to wear during his court appearance,is feeling very lonely,said the source
A jail source said,Newspapers cannot be given to him. As per the jail manual,he has to buy it and there is no provision to transfer the money that was seized from him at the time of his arrest,as it is seized property and is with the court.
Kazmi said,I can only request the court,which,in turn,can direct the jail authorities to allow his request.
When contacted for his comment,Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said,I cannot comment on the issue. It is between the accused and his lawyer.
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