Kasab gets new lawyer

 Kasab gets new lawyerMumbai, Apr 16 : A Special Sessions Court on Thursday appointed Abbas Kazmi as new lawyer of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the November 2008 Mumbai attack.

Kazmi, a private lawyer and not from the legal aid panel, has been appointed to defend Kasab as per Indian law.

Kazmi is a well-known name in the legal circle and is a member of the Sessions Bar Council.

On Wednesday, Special Judge M L Tahiliyani revoked the appointment of Anjali Waghmare, the lawyer who was appointed to defend Kasab, on grounds of ''''professional misconduct''''.

Waghmare, a lawyer from the state legal aid cell, was appointed on March 30, and was removed because it turned out that she was also representing a witness in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks.

Waghmare said that the special court had not accused her of ''''professional misconduct'''', and this was all a figment of the media's imagination.

"I have not signed a Vakalatnama to defend a witness in connection with the Mumbai terror attack case, nor has an advocate signed one. The court has revoked the order allowing me to represent Kasab. It has not accused or charged me with professional misconduct," she said.

It maybe recalled that Kasab had approached the Pakistan High Commission last year with a similar request to which there was no response. Pakistan had at that time said that Kasab was not a Pakistani citizen.

The demand for a Pakistani lawyer was made in an atmosphere of complete confusion. The prosecution said that it would forward the request to the Pakistan Government through diplomatic channels, but added that if Islamabad failed to respond, another Indian lawyer could be appointed.

The decision to remove Waghmare was announced during the trial of Kasab, which began on Wednesday.

Kasab personally appeared before the court at the Arthur Road Prison for the first time. Earlier, he had appeared before the court through a video-conference. (ANI)