For death convict Mohammed Hanif Sayed, 47, the phrase ‘I’ll have to sell my kidney for it’ is not an exaggerated figure of speech. In one of the strangest applications before the Bombay high court, Sayed on Monday sought its permission to sell his kidney to pay his advocate’s fees.
Sayed, his wife Fehmida, 45, and Anshrat Ansari, 33, were sentenced to death by a special Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) court in August last year for their involvement in the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar bomb blasts of 2003 that killed 54 people and injured 244. During the ruling, the court called them “blood-thirsty”.
To the high court, Sayed, lodged at the Yerwada central prison, made an application that he had no means to pay his lawyer’s fees to argue against his conviction and should therefore be allowed to sell his kidney to generate funds.
The additional public prosecutor, Mankunwar Deshmukh, told the court that the nature of the relief sought by Sayed was beyond the purview of the court and should therefore not be entertained. Baffled by Sayed’s plea, justices DB Bhosale and AR Joshi said the court could not issue a directive. But they said Sayed was free to donate his kidney if he so wished and prison rules permitted the same. Refusing to pass any orders in the case, the judges allowed Sayed to withdraw his application.
“I’m deeply hurt by this application,” Sayed’s advocate Khan Abdul Wahab told DNA on Monday. “I filed his appeal in the high court at my own expense and I took up his case as charity.
“I never asked him for a single penny. He may want the money for something else. I will seek the court’s permission to withdraw from the case.”