Anti-Terrorism Day: The Lawyers Who Defend the Terror Accused

Anti-Terrorism Day: The Lawyers Who Defend the Terror Accused


Camera: Sanjoy Deb

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist tried for the massacre of 164 people during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on 21 November 2012 in Pune’s Yerwada Jail.

Initially, most lawyers refused to represent Kasab in court. In December 2008, then chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan said that for a fair trial, Kasab needed a lawyer. Farhana Shah was one of the lawyers who defended him in the Bombay High Court.

On 29 August 2012, the Supreme Court of India found Kasab guilty and he was sentenced to death.

Farhana Shah is one of many lawyers across the country defending terror accused. For those like Farhana, it’s a tough job defending the indefensible. They are branded the ‘terrorist’s lawyers’, boycotted by Bar associations, and even attacked.

On World Anti-Terrorism Day, The Quint profiles three such lawyers – Farhana Shah, Mohammed Shoaib and MS Khan – who have to do the tough job of being the defence counsel for terror accused.

(This story was first published on 27 November 2016 and has been reposted from The Quint's archives to mark World Anti-Terrorism Day. The Quint condemns acts of terrorism and violence, this is a factual documentary on lawyers who had represented the terror accused in Indian courts)

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