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Shiv Sena attack on lawyer willing to represent Kasab

Last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai have catapulted an unlikely person into limelight — Mukesh Deshmukh (40), a lawyer practising criminal law in Amravati for the past 10-12 years without ever holding any brief that attracted significant media attention.

Written by Jaidevhemmady | Mumbai |
December 16, 2008 1:14:33 am

House stoned, police post guards

Last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai have catapulted an unlikely person into limelight — Mukesh Deshmukh (40), a lawyer practising criminal law in Amravati for the past 10-12 years without ever holding any brief that attracted significant media attention.

He has expressed willingness to represent arrested terrorist Ajmal Kasab. On Monday, he had to seek police protection after his house was gheraoed by around 40 Shiv Sena workers who were opposing his decision.

Deshmukh said he had filed an application earlier in the day through his junior associate at the sessions court in Mumbai mentioning his willingness to represent Kasab. “Around 40 Sena workers came outside my house at Vijay Colony in Mukund Nagar and started pelting it with stones and shouting slogans against me. Thankfully, my wife and I were not hurt in the attack. After the incident, the police arrived and provided me with protection. I also have my personal bodyguards to protect me,” he said.

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Deshmukh said he will reach Mumbai on 24th to complete the formalities.

When asked about his decision at a time when other lawyers have refused to represent Kasab, Deshmukh said: “I am not doing anything illegal or unconstitutional. Every accused has the right to legal representation and even Kasab has a right to it. If other lawyers are unwilling to represent him, it’s their decision. As a lawyer, I do not think it right to allow any accused to be without legal counsel.”

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leaders said they will continue to object to lawyers representing Kasab. “The attacks have been seen by everyone. It is a very different case, but it is a legal process in which we will not interfere. The idea of natural justice is applicable to Indian nationals as per our law. If the country to which he belongs feels for his human and natural rights, they can come forward and support him. But we will object to the lawyers taking up the case,” said Neelam Gorhe, spokesperson and senior Shiv Sena leader.

He added: “Anyone who comes forward should remember that thousands of lives have been affected and very strong sentiments are attached to the incident. It should not be a publicity stunt. If the court decides to appoint a lawyer, then we will take a stand accordingly, but the lawyer also has the choice to refuse to take up the case.”

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