Anjali Waghmare, the lawyer appointed to represent lone terrorist arrested in 26/11 attack Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, on Tuesday told the special court that she needed a day to consider whether she would appear in the case, following protests at her residence on Monday night.
"I am under a lot of pressure. Give me one day to decide and think over it," an emotional Waghmare told special judge M L Tahiliyani.
"The media has exaggerated and is saying that I have taken up the case voluntarily. There were more than 300 persons outside my house on Monday," she told the court.
Asking the media to convey the correct message to the public, Waghmare said the mob outside her house had questioned how she could represent Kasab despite being a police official's wife.
Waghmare, an advocate from the Maharashtra Legal Cell, was appointed by the court on Monday to represent Kasab in the upcoming trial of the terrorist on April 6.
"Why has the media not gone to Uddhav Thackeray over the attack? Who is the mob to decide whether the trial will go on or not," Waghmare said.
After hearing the advocate, Special Judge M L Tahiliyani observed that Waghmare had been appointed by the court and she was merely following the court's order.
Following the protest outside Waghmare's residence, it had become necessary for the court to examine whether contempt of court proceedings could be issued against arrested members of the mob for obstructing the court's proceedings by threatening the lawyer, Tahiliyani said.
The court was informed that an FIR had been registered against arrested persons under sections 143, 147, 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code and a senior police inspector of Worli police station was directed to file a detailed report on the matter.
The court also said that it would pass an order regarding the appointment of a lawyer to assist Waghmare on Wednesday, after she decided on whether to continue representing Kasab during the trial.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Jayant Patil asserted that adequate security had been provided to Waghmare.
"Apparently, Waghmare is representing a victim of the 26/11 attack, who is seeking compensation. She is the wife of a police sub inspector. I think the court may not know about it. Now it is up to the court whether to replace her or not," said Patil.
"Keeping last night's protests in mind, we have provided adequate security to Waghmare," he added.
A mob of around 100 persons had staged a demonstration outside Waghmare's house on Monday night, following which she decided to withdraw from the case. They also chanted slogans against her and pelted stones ate her house.
The police have arrested nine Shiv Sena activists in connection with the incident.