A Mumbai Special Court Friday directed authorities of Tihar Jail in New Delhi to allow suspected terrorist Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, to seek free legal aid from a Mumbai NGO, an official said here.
Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court Special Judge S.V. Modak gave the directions when Jundal, a suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) member and a prime accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, was presented before the court through video-conferencing.
When Special Judge Modak asked Jundal if he had engaged a lawyer, he replied that he was seeking free legal assistance from a Mumbai NGO, Jamait-ul-Ulema. He said he has written to the NGO.
Ansar Tamboli and Shahid N. Ansari, lawyers from the NGO, denied receiving any communication from Jundal.
Special Judge Modak then directed the Tihar Jail superintendent to help Jundal by arranging to send his request to the NGO by post or fax and adjourned the matter to Dec 7.
Later, the Jamait-ul-Ulema expressed its willingness to provide free legal aid to Jundal if it came through the proper channel and after it (the NGO) scrutinised the case papers.
The NGO's legal cell secretary Gulzar Azmi said that it would provide free legal aid to Jundal if it was convinced that he was innocent in the case.
Ansari said that if Jundal's application and case papers are not received before Dec 7, the special court would decide on the issue of providing legal help to him.
Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia a few months ago, faces trial in many cases, including for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and other terror acts in various parts of the country.