When Mohammad Azharuddin watched the premier show of the biopic on his life, Azhar, last week, he was accompanied by Ramakanth Reddy, the lawyer who had fought the match-fixing case against him, ensuring a win for the former cricketer.
“I burnt the midnight oil to fight this case,” said Reddy over phone. “Azhar had hired the services of P. Chidambaram (former Union finance minister) but they could not win it. PC attended hardly one or two hearings and had no time. Azhar was my friend and a classmate. We had studied in the same school (All Saints High School) and Nizam College. My (late) mother then persuaded me to take his case and I took the challenge without professional fees since I knew he was not capable of doing what he had been charged with,” the lawyer added.
In the movie, Azhar's lawyer (Kunaal Roy Kapoor) challenges K. Madhavan's findings and says that his client’s teammates haven’t taken oaths and hence cannot be trusted.
“In reality I had argued on several other points. The ban was pre-determined as alleged by Kamal Morarka, one of the three members of the disciplinary panel. Morarka had written a letter on December 4, 2,000 to keep the next day’s hearing to some other day. Obviously he could not have read the 400-plus page reports (by CBI and K. Madhavan) and sought more time to fix the hearing. But they were determined to punish Azhar and the life ban was imposed.
“Azhar had hired several other lawyers and two of them died during the pendency of the case. I used to tell Azhar: “If the case goes on pending like this, I too may die,” adds Reddy.
“I went on persuading the court that a case involving personal rights could not be prolonged like this. I insisted, fought and at last got justice. He was relieved and made the first call to his father,” the lawyer adds.
“I have known Azhar for a long. Our former chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy used to play cricket with us. I have now been playing golf with Azhar,” he says....