Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who defended 26/11 Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab in the Supreme Court, does not want to be paid for the job.
Five days after a bench headed by justice Aftab Alam ordered the Maharashtra government to pay Rs. 11 lakh and Rs. 3.5 lakh to Ramachandran and his junior Gaurav Agarwal respectively for rendering legal assistance to Kasab, the senior counsel on Monday moved an application before the SC stating that he and his assistant did not "wish to take any fee".
"It's an honour to serve the cause of justice and a privilege to serve the institution (judiciary). What I did was part of our sacred professional duty. That is the spirit behind my application," Ramachadran told Hindustan Times.
Expressing his gratitude to the court for directing payment of remuneration, Ramchandran requested the court to direct the money to be deposited either with the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority or the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee or any other organisation working for poor litigants.
Ramachadran and Agarwal were appointed as amicus curiae to defend Kasab because the Pakistani national was not in a position to engage an advocate. Appreciating Ramchandran's "valuable assistance" and "honest approach," the court had directed Maharashtra to pay him.
"Mr. Ramachandran, cool and clinical, gently tried to persuade the court to his point of view," the SC had said in the judgment appreciating his services for which the counsel did not receive any remuneration.
Even senior advocate Gopal Subramanium had charged a token fee of Rs. 1 for representing the Mahrashtra government.
Heaping praise on the two senior advocates, justice Alam had noted in his verdict: "In my 20 years on the bench I have not heard a serious case debated in such a congenial atmosphere as created by Mr Subramanium and Mr Ramachandran in this case."