The "high professional ethics" of counsel Raju Ramachandran and Gaurav Agrawal, who sought to donate to the legal service authority their fees worth around Rs. 15 lakh, earned for helping the court as amicus curae in deciding the appeal of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist Ajmal Kasab, today won the wholesome praise of the Supreme Court.
Appreciating their gesture, a bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad asked the Maharashtra government to distribute the fee for the two counsel among family members of the 18 state policemen and other security personnel, who were killed in the 26/11 anti-terror operations.
"We appreciate the high standards of professional ethics of Shri Raju Ramachandran and Shri Gaurav Agrawal," observed the bench, commending the two advocates' gesture.
It directed that the amount should "be proportionately distributed among the kith and kind of the 18 police personnel and other security personnel killed in the Mumbai carnage."
While upholding the death penalty of the sole surviving Mumbai carnage terrorist Kasab, the court had fixed as token remuneration Rs. 11 lakh for senior counsel Ramachandran and Rs. 3.5 lakh for advocate Agrawal for their assistance to it as amicus curiae in the matter.
The two advocates, in a joint plea to the bench, sought its permission to return the money, while seeking to donate the same to the apex court's legal service authority.
While holding that the conspiracy for the attack was hatched in Pakistan, the apex court had earlier held Kasab guilty of waging war against the country in the Mumbai terror attack case in which 166 people were killed and said it was left with no option but to uphold the death sentence.