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Don't give irrelevant replies: Judge to Kasab

January 18, 2010 20:35 IST

Lone surviving Pakistani gunman of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks Ajmal Kasab on Monday occasionally gave irrelevant answers to questions asked by the special judge, who cut him short and advised him to reply correctly.

"Don't give irrelevant replies," admonished Judge M L Tahaliyani when Kasab said "Afghan border..." while replying to a question about a witness telling the court that weapons had been recovered from 26/11 terror sites.

"If he is given an opportunity, he will say anything irrelevant. I would not be surprised if he says in Marathi that Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is my close friend," the Judge told prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, breaking the somber monotony of the court proceedings.

At one point when Tahaliyani asked Kasab, looking haggard in his kurta-pyjama, about what he had to say on evidence of a witness about the identification parades held in jail, the Pakistani gunman said "nothing".

"But you earlier put a lot of questions to this witness on the issue," the judge reminded Kasab, to which he replied, "Not me, you asked him."

"You have a good memory," Tahaliyani acknowledged.

Tahiliyani also advised Kasab to speak to his lawyer K P Pawar, indicating that the accused was not cooperating with his counsel.

"What is happening? You do not speak to your lawyer. Talk to him today. I have allowed a conference between you and him. After all, he is your lawyer and has to defend you.  Unless he seeks instructions how can he defend you effectively," the judge asked.

Kasab merely nodded in approval.
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