Describing it as "frivolous", the Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected a defence lawyer's petition seeking removal of Ujjwal Nikam as special public prosecutor in the 26/11 attacks case. Advocate Ejaz Naqvi, who represents Sabauddin Ahmed, had pleaded that Nikam should be removed as he had purposely refrained from making US terror convict, David Headley, an accused in this case.
He further alleged that Nikam had vested interest in the case but did not elaborate. Naqvi alleged that Nikam had no right to file appeal against the acquittal of Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin by the trial court.
Nikam had filed an appeal without any authority and it appeared that he had vested interest, he said. Naqvi submitted that the appeal filed by Nikam was barred by limitation of time and said there was a delay in filing it.
Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More then called the registrar who said there was no delay in filing appeal. Coming down heavily on Naqvi, the judges observed "such an application has been filed carelessly with an oblique motive. It appears that the plea of removal of Ujjwal Nikam was filed to delay the hearing of the appeal".
Deprecating the conduct of the defence lawyer, the judges noted that Naqvi had taken frivolous objection and it appeared that he had made malafide allegations against Nikam with an intention to delay the hearing of the appeal.
The bench also rejected Naqvi's plea to stay the order to enable him to move the Supreme Court in appeal.