Nikam won’t be re-appointed as govt pleader

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2015 00:40 IST

After his statement last week that the story on 26/11 attacker Ajmal Kasab demanding biryani in jail was cooked up, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam may not get reappointed as the district government pleader in the Jalgaon district court, where his tenure ends in two months. Nikam will, however, continue as the special public prosecutor in more than 20 high-profile cases.

The state had threatened Nikam with action, soon after he said he had concocted facts related to Kasab to swing the sentiment.

“Neither did Kasab demand chicken biryani when he was in the [Arthur Road] jail, nor did the state government serve it to him. I cooked up the story to break an emotional atmosphere which was taking shape in favour of Kasab,” Nikam had said, in Jaipur.

Revenue minister Eknath Khadse said, “Nikam met me on Monday to apologise for the comment. When he claimed his statement was twisted, I handed over the CD of the event to him. I have expressed my discontent over the statement, as it could have serious global repercussions. We have not yet decided on the action.”

Meanwhile, the CMO has received a complaint alleging Nikam was given “undue preference”. “Nikam was paid Rs25,000-Rs50,000 for a hearing, a conference fee of up to Rs10,000 a day, apart from Rs5,000 a day towards lodging and boarding. He is being paid much more than the standard norms. How can he be paid a hefty rent for a hotel room when he has a government quota Mhada flat in Mumbai?” said Ulhas Naik, an advocate in the Bombay high court, who has obtained supporting documents under the RTI Act.

Nikam said his appointment and remuneration were as per the rules.

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