Mumbai, Nov 27: Abbas Kazmi, defence lawyer representing the 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, invited the wrath of the judge for saying that he did not care about affidavits of witnesses filed by prosecution.
Responding strongly to this 'irresponsible' statement, the trial court judge has issued a notice to Kazmi asking him to explain why his services should not be terminated for 'misconduct'.
Kazmi made this statement on Thursday, Nov 26, when Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam informed Judge M L Tahaliyani that he wanted to file 340 affidavits of formal witnesses, and adding that copies of 233 such documents have already been served on the defence lawyer.
Following this the judge asked the Kasab's lawyer if he wanted to cross examine any of the witnesses or victims' families, doctors, fire brigade personnel and claimants of bodies.
To this, Kazmi said that he would declare his strategy after prosecutor Nikam files these affidavits in the court.
On May 8, in his opening address Nikam told the court that he would be filing such affidavits. But Kazmi claimed otherwise, forcing the judge to react strongly.
"This is a serious matter and you are telling lies. I now have to consider whether to continue you as a defence lawyer. You have been appointed by the court to defend the accused and it is your duty to cooperate in the interest of justice", judge Tahaliyani observed.
Due to this unexpected development, Nikam's application seeking to file 340 affidavits of formal witnesses has been deferred and in turn extending the course of the trial.