A Lucknow-based lawyer is seeking the transfer from Faizabad of the serial bomb blasts case in Uttar Pradesh that killed over a dozen people after lawyers mobbed him for defending the accused. Mohammed Shoaib said he would file an application in the high court seeking the transfer to any other court in Uttar Pradesh.
Shoaib was reported as saying, “Just when I was pleading before the Faizabad additional sessions judge R.K. Gautam (last week) to allow me to file a transfer application because of fear of assault, a mob of lawyers collected outside the courtroom and shouted slogans against me.”
He said all the bar associations of the State had imposed a ban on him for taking up cases of people booked in terror cases. He was representing a total of seven accused in two cases, including the November 23 serial blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi. He was heckled last week when he appeared on behalf of two men accused in the serial blasts case. He could not move out of the court without police escort. Shoaib said he was scared after some lawyers of Barabanki district to which the accused belonged threatened him with dire consequences if he did not withdraw from the case.
He did that and complained to a high court judge about the decision of the bar associations to boycott him. “It was only after a request by the family members of the accused that I took up the case,” he said.
Shoaib had fought for Aftab Alam Ansari, who was arrested from Kolkata in connection with the November 2007 blasts. He won the case for Ansari and thereafter was the most sought after lawyer among the terror accused. “Nobody fights their cases. I take them up because I believe it is the court which decides if the accused is guilty or innocent,” he said, adding that he was still scared but determined. “If need be, I might even seek police protection.”