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High court rejects Kasab plea to meet lawyers in isolation


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday rejected a plea of Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab for permission to consult his lawyers in isolation in the Arthur Road Central Jail premises.

A division bench of the court comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice V.K. Tahilramani cited grounds of security and safety of the lawyers and security personnel while declining permission, Kasab’s lawyer Farhana Shah said.

“We have all options open before us. We plan to challenge this ruling in the Supreme Court soon,” Shah told IANS emerging from the courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, opposing the application, Tuesday submitted to the high court a CD of an attack on a jail security personnel by Kasab in the high-security prison Sep 1.

Shah had moved an application recently seeking directions to debar jail authorities from being present within earshot in the room where she discussed legal issues with Kasab.

Citing the attack as a serious issue, Nikam said it was impossible for police or jail authorities to permit the Pakistani terrorist to meet his lawyers in isolation, without the presence of security officials.

He had also expressed apprehension that Kasab may attack his lawyer and hence he should be allowed to discuss issues with the lawyer only in the presence of security and jail personnel.

On her part, the government-appointed Shah made a strong plea, and said Kasab felt uncomfortable discussing details of his case in front of security and jail personnel.

Shah also said she had no objections to the presence of security personnel as long as they remained at a distance where they could not hear her discussion with Kasab.

On May 3, Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani held Kasab guilty on five counts in the killing of 166 people during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.