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Case 11/26: I wanted an ‘open trial’ for the world, says Ujjwal Nikam | India News


MUMBAI: As India prepares to mark the 12th anniversary of the November 26, 2008 (11/26) terrorist attacks in the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai, celebrated lawyer Padmashri Ujjwal Nikam revealed how in 2009 he insisted on a “trial public “in the case.
“In reality, the government considered holding a ‘closed-door trial,’ given its delicate nature with national, regional and global political ramifications, in addition to massive security concerns. I strongly urged that a trial be held open and transparent, under full scrutiny from the world, “Nikam, who was the Special Public Prosecutor on the case, told IANS.
Given the great interest everywhere, the government nodded, and what unfolded was the largest legal war within the confines of a high-security Special Court established within the Arthur Road Central Jail, in front of the media. of national and international communication. leaving them stunned.
With a battery of lawyers and investigators, SPP Nikam led the government indictment against the only surviving terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, captured alive, but only after a reckless police officer Tukaram Gopal Omble sacrificed his own life in the valiant effort in the first hours of that great morning of November 29 (2008).
It was probably the first time in the world that a savage terrorist with weapons was caught red-handed while unleashing chaos along with his 9 associates, who were shot dead in multiple locations by security forces in the full 60 hours. full battle in South Mumbai.
Beginning on the night of November 26, 2008, the attackers struck with clinical precision a dozen high-profile public places, leaving a trail of massive destruction and the final death toll of 166, plus 300 wounded.
“India can proudly proclaim that it was an unprecedented public hearing trial of a brutal terrorist, never seen before by the world, and has become a torchbearer in many respects, ultimately resulting in the noose for Kasab ( Nov. 21, 2012), “said Nikam, 67, honored with a Padmashri (2016).
According to the SPP, the most important aspect of the trial was its ‘secular’ nature, given the delicate political or religious nuances involved at different levels.
Special Trial Judge ML Tahiliyani, SPP Nikam, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Ms) Branch V. Sawant-Vagule, (who recorded Kasab’s inaugural statement after the arrest on the early morning of November 29, 2008), the government-appointed attorneys who defended Kasab at different points: Abbas Kazmi, KP Pawar, Amin Solkar and (Mrs.) Farhana Shah – came from different religious backgrounds.
However, they worked in a completely professional manner, with a common goal of “ justice, ” but peppered with many antics, often leading to murky or joyous fights between the harsh prosecution and the aggressive defense, while the country and the the world watched closely.
For example, the defense began by throwing a legal grenade claiming that “Kasab was a minor,” which caught the prosecution by surprise and caused a great uproar, while the prosecution responded once, frowning at the delay tactics. defense and claimed that “Kasab is celebrating with Mutton Biryani in jail”, although both statements were later turned out to be false!
“In all these years, no one has seen the trial in a communal sense, not even a whisper from the respective religions of any of the people who have the slightest influence in the process, by religious fundamentalists from anywhere in India or Pakistan.
It was a purely entrepreneurial exercise for all concerned, “said Nikam.
He calls this “a tribute to the immense respect and credibility of the Indian justice system” at the national and international level as “absolutely no questions have been raised” about the way the trial, the punishment was carried out, Kasab full chance until the president of India, and finally be executed.
He wished Pakistan had shown “similar traits” of free, fair, credible and transparent procedures, as 7 of the defendants in 11/26 face a “mock trial in kangaroo court” there.

Times of India