The break-in at special public prosecutor Raja Thakare’s office has led to lawyers handling sensitive cases reiterating their demand for security.
Criminal lawyer, Majeed Memon, said the police should take steps to prevent such incidents. “Advocates are officers of the court, assisting the courts in arriving at right the decision,” Memon said. “This is new trend where documents are stolen to stop a lawyer from doing his duty.”
Vulnerability of lawyers became a matter of concern in 2005 when members of the Ravi Pujari gang shot at Memon, who was then defending several accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. The bullets hit his car. Only one of the four accused in the firing was convicted.
Advocate and activist, Asim Sarode, said the police should not treat the case as a mere break-in. “It should also be probed as an attempt to destroy evidence,” said Sarode.
Lawyer, Abbas Kazmi, who was given armed guards when he was defending the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 terror attacks, Ajmal Amir Kasab, also echoed the security concerns. “Everybody knows Raja Thakare handles high profile cases and has round-the-clock protection so it seems to be a premeditated act,” Kazmi said. “The accused must have monitored his office for long time before breaking in.”
Advocate Anjali Waghmare, who was appointed to defend Kasab, faced threats from the saffron brigade for taking up the case.