With overwhelming evidence in the chargesheet against November 26 Mumbai terror attack accused Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, his lawyer Abbas Kazmi on Sunday said it was going to be "an uphill task" for him but he would put "his best foot forward" to save the accused.
"To me, it appears to be an open and shut case... But I have a role to play as a defence lawyer. My job is to defend the
accused and I would do my best," Kazmi told PTI.
"There seems to be overwhelming evidence against Kasab with more than 30 eyewitnesses and other scientific evidence. It is an uphill task for me but I will put in my best foot forward to save him," he said.
Kazmi said that he had not assured Kasab that he would save him but certainly had explained to him about the charges he was facing and the enormity of the case.
To a querry on whether he is facing any moral dilemma while defending Kasab, the advocate replied, "I am performing my job as a lawyer. "Why doesn't anyone ask the doctor who treated Kasab after he was injured in the encounter at Girgaum Chowpatty as to why he did not kill the alleged terrorist?
"The doctor was performing his duty and I am performing mine," he quipped.
On Kasab's mood swings during trial, Kazmi said, "He is a young boy of tender age and has been in solitary confinement since his arrest. On the first day of the trial, he was excited to see so many people, including the media and so he may have smiled a lot".
However, he changed his attitude after the court rebuked him for his behaviour. "I explained to him that smiles would not help him and that he has to consider the seriousness of the case," the lawyer said.
Taking a dig at public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam's demand for an amendment in Juvenile Justice Act to prevent minors being used by terrorist organisations to carry out terror acts, Kazmi said that more than the stringent law, steps should be taken to fortify the country so as to ensure that borders and the vast coastline did not remain porous for infiltration.
The lawyer said that Kasab had not disclosed anything about his family background or about his relatives in Pakistan to him. "I am allowed to talk to Kasab for only 15 to 20 minutes everyday after the court hours and at that time we are surrounded by security personnel. I only discuss the case with him and nothing else," he asserted.On Kasab's demand for books, newspapers and perfume, Kazmi said that it is the right and privilege of every undertrial to avail basic amenities including toiletries.
"This is the normal practice in case of every accused and not just Kasab," he said.
"The manner in which Kasab has been lodged and the condition of his barrack amounts to pre-trial punishment... the toilet is attached with his barrack and the place is stinking so he has asked for khusboo (perfume)," he added.
Kazmi, who had acted in a few television serials and Bollywood movies, said, "I will always be an actor. Even as a lawyer, I am acting," when asked about his experience as an actor.