Monday, December 15, 2008

Morals vs. Professionalism

A very interesting debate is on in legal circles as to what lawyers should do with the case of Ajmal Amir 'Kasab,' the lone terrorist apprehended during the Mumbai 26/11 attack.

While one section believes that it is morally wrong to defend a terrorist in a court of law, another believes that a lawyer is not defending a terrorist but simply allowing the law to take its own course. The faster he gets a lawyer, the faster he will be punished!

But the Siva Sena today ransacked the office of a lawyer who publicly agreed to take Ajmal Amir's case. This is a dangerous precedent: lawyers should not be told what to do by political parties, unless we want to convert India into a banana republic! Then again, a bar association in Mumbai said that none of its members would defend him.

The issue over whether a lawyer should stick to his professional ideals or listen to his heart is a complex one. Eventually however, Ajmal will need some representation in court. Not even a hundred lawyers can save him, but just one lawyer is needed to punish him. Now, what are they going to do about that?

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