“He wants to engage a lawyer of his choice”

A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Monday allowed Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal to meet his parents to discuss the appointment of a defence counsel.

He will be allowed to meet his parents only for 10 minutes in the presence of ATS officers. Jundal, now in the custody of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, was produced before the court. He was remanded in further police custody till September 10.

Jundal, who is lodged in the high-security Arthur Road jail, is also a key accused in the 26/11 case. The court warned that if he discussed the cases with his parents the permission to meet them would be revoked. “The court offered him legal aid. But he wanted to engage a lawyer of his choice for which he wanted to speak to his parents,” the prosecutor, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu on the phone.

Sessions judge S.M. Modak directed the investigating agency to convey to his parents that they would have to bear the expenses of meeting their son, if they decided to come and meet him.

Arguing for extension of custody, the prosecution told the court that Jundal’s interrogation was required to trace the whereabouts of suspects in the arms haul case.