Monday, October 11, 2010

Kasab lawyer on Big Boss: Reality TV befitting ‘strong arm of law’? | Legal opinions| Legally India

Kasab lawyer on Big Boss: Reality TV befitting ‘strong arm of law’? | Legal opinions| Legally India

Is it “gentlemanly” by an advocate to be the self-styled “strong arm of law” and participate in the television reality show Big Boss?
The participation in the television reality show Big Boss by Abbas Kazmi, the ex-lawyer of convicted 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, and his website tag-lined “the strong arm of law” have created controversy.
Kazmi is among 14 contestants in the fourth season of Big Boss that aired its first episode on Sunday. Some papers had also reported rumours that Kazmi himself had approached the host channel after justice Tahaliyani dismissed him for non-cooperation in the infamous trial of Kasab. Kazmi denied such claims.
The event has also astonished the members of the legal fraternity with some questioning the foundation of the Advocates Act and the professional code of ethics governing advocates in India.
“This is a blatant attempt to gain publicity,” said one lawyer, who declined to be named. “It’s not fair in a country which places regulatory embargoes on advertising and marketing activities of lawyers.”
She further added that the manner in which Kazmi introduced himself while referring to all his high profile cases during the curtain raiser episode was itself a clear violation of the bar council rules even if one were to leave aside the question of participation per se.
Conversely, in the given context, could Kazmi’s act be evaluated in the light of freedom of speech and expression and other fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution or does it justify/merit scrutiny on the basis of BCI-established canons of conduct.
The Bar Council of India (BCI) rules governing advocates state: “An advocate shall, at all times, comport himself in a manner befitting his status as an officer of the Court, a privileged member of the community, and a gentleman, bearing in mind that what may be lawful and moral for a person who is not a member of the Bar, or for a member of the Bar in his non-professional capacity may still be improper for an advocate.”
The BCI would be responsible for enforcement of advocate conduct rules but at the time of press no bar council members who were contacted were ready to comment.
Self-acclaimed proponent and defender of human rights, Kazmi was also the defence counsel for the accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and music baron Gulshan Kumar’s murder case. Kazmi’s website(pictured) is worth browsing to, as it incidentally also narrates his earlier attempts at stardom and his tryst with law after his dreams of entering Bollywood were never realised.
His website states: “Abbas Kazmi, a name you can trust. Whenever a citizen's life and property is at stake, then one name we can trust or count on is of Abbas Kazmi. A defense lawyer with extremely high expertise in his arena. His cases require strategic thinking and the ability to touch the hearts and minds of a Judge and public at large. He has the legal skill and investigative resources to secure those required results. His effectiveness in the courtroom and in negotiations has earned him the recognition of his peers and the firm referrals from past clients.
The issue of advertisement through the medium of websites has been on the regulator’s agenda in the past and begs the question: what is the legitimate form of information dissemination?
Big Boss 4 - Abbas Kazmi's Evicted - TOI News
 The most eagerly watched show on television currently, COLORS' Bigg Boss season 4 has got its first evictee. And it's none other than Abbas Kazmi, the ex-lawyer of 26/11 accused Mohammed Ajmal Kasab

Kazmi was nominated along with three other contestants- television actress 
Sara Khan, model Hrishant Goswami and dacoit Seema Parihar.

In spite of being the oldest contestant on the show, Kazmi got along well in the house and other housemates. 
Abbas Kazmi enjoyed working out in the gym including a regular dip in the wave pool. He helped with the household work as well, though took offence when the job assigned to him was done by someone else at times and by default he we was taken off that responsibility.

Contrary to the perception of a senior criminal lawyer, Kazmi loved to talk! He could debate endlessly for hours together, his favourite topics obviously being his experiences on the infamous Kasab case. 

Read more: Bigg Boss: Abbas Kazmi's evicted - The Times of India

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