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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Nikam-isms inside & outside the court

Pompous? Public prosecutor’s comments claims special court’s verdict depended on his brilliant work.

mumbai Updated: May 07, 2010 00:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

On Thursday, Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor in the 26/11 terror attacks case, was again at his hyperbole

After the special court sentenced Pakistani Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) operative Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab (22) to death, Nikam, brandishing his spiral-bound booklet Death Penalty and posing for the cameras with a victory sign again, unleashed a volley of adjectives to tell the media that his work and that the court’s verdict depended on it.

On May 3, after Kasab was convicted Nikam was seen posing with a similar booklet Yes, you are guilty. Both booklets have Nikam’s name as author in big font size.

Recover compensation from Lashkar?
Nikam asked the special court to impose a heavy fine on Kasab to recover the damages caused to the 26/11 terror attack sites, estimated at of Rs 155.72 crore, could be recovered.

Nikam reminded the court that under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a heavy fine could be imposed on convicts to compensate the victims.

When Judge M.L. Tahiliyani asked Nikam who would pay the fine, he replied: “LeT, sir.”

When the judge asked him not to press the demand, Nikam insisted that the state would try to recover the fine — from the terror organisation — through diplomatic channels.

The court discarded his prayer saying: “There is no point in passing an order which cannot be implemented.” Judge Tahiliyani said the plea could have been considered had the LeT owned any property in India.

Forgotten provision
While Nikam reminded the court about the provision under the UAPA through which the 26/11 victims could be compensated, but he forgot another provision under the same Act that provides for death sentence.

It was Judge Tahiliyani who reminded Nikam that Section 16 of UAPA provides for death sentence as maximum punishment.

The court later awarded Kasab the capital punishment for terrorist activities resulting in death under this section. Equating Kasab with animals

On Tuesday, Nikam had described Kasab as a mad dog, a poisonous snake in a human form, a horse run amok and a demon in court.

Constantly labelling Kasab a poisonous snake, Nikam said the comparison was unfair to the reptile. “If a snake could talk, he would say, ‘Mr Nikam, we bite sometimes’, and the animals would contend that they kill their prey to feed on,” said Nikam. “Even wild animals don’t kill anybody if they are not hungry.”

These comments did not go down well with some lawyers.

“He [Nikam] should maintain human dignity even if the person is a convict,” criminal lawyer Amin Solkar said. “Being a special public prosecutor he should say whatever is in the public interest instead of identifying himself with the case and behaving like a police prosecutor.”

Lawyer Y.P. Singh, however, felt the comparison was not fully unwarranted. “Actually it is not fully unjustified, but when it comes to arguments in court he is bound to be specific.”

First Published: May 07, 2010 00:10 IST

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