Four months after S G Abbas Kazmi was removed by the 26/11 special court to defend the only surviving Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, the aggrieved lawyer on Wednesday moved the Bombay High Court seeking contempt action against trial Judge M L Tahaliyani for abruptly sacking him.
The filing of the petition at this belated stage has generated interest in legal circles as the judgement in 26/11 case against Kasab and two Indians is expected to be delivered on May 3.
Kazmi said the judge had acted arbitrarily and his action had no legal foundation because he (Kazmi) was removed for merely objecting to prosecution's move to file affidavits of 232 witnesses of formal character instead of examining them orally in the court.
Kazmi, who had been appointed by the court to defend Kasab at the beginning of the trial, in the petition, said, "A lawyer who appears in a court is an officer of the court and the judge who tries a case cannot humiliate him."
The lawyer said he had agreed to appear in the case as a professional after considering it as a public duty and not because Ajmal Kasab was his private client.
Kazmi said the court had also called him a "liar" for saying that he was not aware about prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam's contention at the start of the trial that he (Nikam) would file affidavits of witnesses of formal character instead of examining them personally in the court.