Failing health stops Jethmalani from defending Jamia students

October 7th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Eminent lawyer Ram Jethamalani said Monday he would have loved to defend the two Jamia Milia University students arrested on charges of instigating terror attacks but can’t because of his failing health.Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh told reporters in Panaji that Jethmalani had at his behest agreed to take up the brief for students of the university, arrested after the Sep 19 shootout in Jamia Nagar that led to two alleged terrorists and a police officer beng killed.

Police said the arrests led to the unravelling of the terror conspiracy behind the Sep 13 serial bombings in the capital.

“I would have loved to defend them and taken up their cases had I the sufficient physical energy,” the former law minister said.

“Besides my failing health, I have also quite a few cases which prevents me from taking up any new case,” Jethmalani told IANS.

Jethmalani, however, spoke up for the legal rights of the two university students in the police dragnet.

“I’m of the firm belief that even the worst of criminals are entitled to the best of legal defence. This is the beauty of our Indian legal system and our legal fraternity deserve kudos for following this principle of natural justice.”

He also backed Jamia Milia Islamia University Vice Chancellor Mushirul Hasan’s efforts to drum up legal and moral support for his students.

Hasan had met him recently to seek legal advice and support, Jethmalani disclosed.

“Being the university chancellor, he is the local guardian of sorts for his students and is legally and morally responsible for their well-being,” said Jethmalani.

“He (Hasan) sought advice on whether he could utilise university funds to arrange legal defence for his students, but I am not very sure on this count.”

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