‘Azmi a symbol of fearless advocacy’

Mumbai: Describing Advocate Shahid Azmi, who was shot dead in his Kurla office on February 11, 2010, as a symbol of fearless democracy, retired Justice Abhay Thipsay said, “This is important if you want to maintain an independent and fearless judiciary.”

Azmi was known for defending people falsely implicated in terror cases, and was instrumental in the acquittal of two men accused in the 26/11 terror attack. Speaking at the first Advocate Shahid Azmi Memorial Lecture on Monday, Mr. Thipsay explained why terror trials are different from other trials, and how the laws and provisions are different in terror cases.

He shared the stage with Advocate Monica Sakhrani, a human rights activist and Azmi’s brother. Mr. Thipsay said, “The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act was brought in to tackle insurgency in Punjab, and records have shown that the conviction rate in TADA cases is below 2%. The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had all the bad features of TADA, but was repealed. We now have the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which is a draconian Act, as it makes even membership of certain banned organisations punishable, and some definitions in it are very wide.”

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 7:02:57 PM |

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