The horrific terror attack on Mumbai on 26 November 2008 and the 60 hours of a gunfight between the terrorist and cops still raise every Indian's heartbeat and gives goosebumps. Among the 9 terrorists, the had entered in Mumbai through sea only 1 was caught alive, Ajmal Amir Kasab.
Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Kasab was defended by two lawyers in the 2008 Mumbai attack case on the directions of Bombay HC. But what shocks here is, even after 10 years of the Mumbai attack, the two lawyers are yet to get their fees from the Maharashtra government.
Where the state government says they have not yet submitted any bills, the lawyers say that state prosecutors are not supposed to.
The two lawyers, Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah were directed to defend Kasab, who was hanged to death on November 21, 2012, for killing over 166 people in Mumbai, by the Maharashtra State Legal Services Department after they were nominated by then acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court J N Patel.
The notification of the allotment of the case of Kasab to them was issued on June 8, 2010, after Kasab had expressed his desire to contest the verdict of the trial court sentencing him to death in the Bombay High Court.
As per the notification, Mr Solkar was to receive remuneration equivalent to what is sanctioned for a public prosecutor, who conducts a death confirmation appeal, and Ms Shah was to receive fees on par with an assistant prosecutor.
For nearly nine-months, public prosecutors Mr Solkar and Ms Shah argued for Kasab in the Bombay High Court against his death sentence almost on a day-to-day basis before it confirmed the death sentence on the lone gunman caught alive.
Kasab's conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court a year later and he was hanged to death in 2012 at Yerwada prison in Pune. When contacted by PTI, both Mr Solkar and Ms Shah said they are yet to receive their fees.
"I do not know why the state government has not made any efforts to pay us our fees. It has been seven years since the judgment was delivered by the high court. The Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty and Kasab is also dead. But we are still waiting (for the fees)," Mr Solkar told PTI.
"We are only asking for what is legally due to us. The law says every accused should get a fair trial. To ensure this, we were appointed to defend Kasab... then why this delay in paying us our fees," Mr Solkar added.
While the exact amount per hearing was not known, as per sources, the remuneration for the public prosecutor is between Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000 per day. However, An official from the state government's law and judiciary department said the government would pay the fees only after the two lawyers submit their bills.