Advocate Abbas Kazmi on Sunday said he would move a court to challenge the controversial decision of Islamic Gymkhana of removing him as its trustee on the ground that he was defending the Mumbai terror accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab.
"The decision is totally illegal and stems out of personal vendetta," Kazmi told PTI. Kazmi's appointment as a trustee of Islamic Gymkhana was terminated in April on the ground that defending a terrorist was against the essence of Islam.
Gymkhana had sent Kazmi a letter saying, "You have agreed to defend the most dreaded terrorist Kasab. This is against the essence of Islam. There is no place for terrorism in Islam and also no scope for any defence of a terrorist. To maintain Gymkhana's integrity, your trusteeship is being terminated."
Kazmi said, "This smacks of political vendetta. The gymkhana is not a Muslim body but an association of persons. How can they say that defending an accused was against the essence of Islam?".
"I am performing my professional duty. Accepting Kasab's brief has nothing to do with Islam. The court has appointed me to take up Kasab's case and I have followed the directive."
Kazmi said he would challenge the decision by first sending a legal notice to the Gymkhana and then moving a court to seek justice.
"Asking me not to defend Kasab is like putting pressure on me and it amounts to interference in the administration of justice," he said.
Kazmi alleged that he had openly aired differences with the Gymkhana President Zakat Siddiqui at the Annual General Body meeting of the body recently and this alone was the provocation for removing him as the trustee of this body.
"It seems that Siddiqui wants to settle personal scores with me. There is a hidden agenda behind the decision to expel me as a trustee," Kazmi claimed.
The Gymkhana was founded in 1890 and has about 1500 members on its rolls. It is not registered with the Charity Commissioner and is being run under provisions of Association of Persons.