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Death for Kasab, as SC rejects plea

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Wed, Aug 29, 2012 19:23 hrs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence for Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab. The court rejected a plea by Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, to commute the death sentence handed to him by the Bombay High Court, to a life imprisonment sentence.

Now, the only course left for Kasab is to appeal to the President of India for mercy. However, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said if Kasab filed a mercy plea, “We will ensure it is disposed of in minimum time”.

President Pranab Mukherjee has nearly 20 mercy petitions pending before him, including those of Afzal Guru, convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack, and the mercy petition of Balwant Singh Rajoana, the convicted killer of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

Kasab’s petition, if filed, would have to await its turn.

However, the President can fast-track a particular case, provided he is convinced of the extraordinary nature of the case.

Confirming the death sentence, Supreme Court stated the primary and foremost offence Kasab was charged with was waging war against India. “We are left with no option, but to uphold the sentence,” it said, adding it was “crystal clear the conspiracy was hatched by Pakistanis.”

Judges Aftab Alam and C K Prasad rejected the 25-year-old Kasab’s contention that he was not given a free and fair trial in the case.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who defended Kasab in the apex court, said, “I bow to the verdict of the court. As amicus curiae, I was given an opportunity to advance every convincing argument I could,” he said.

TALE OF TERROR
Following is the chronology of events in 26/11 terror attack case in which the Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence to Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab,
 Pakistani terrorist convicted in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack
2008
  • Nov 26: Kasab and 9 terrorists launched a commando raid in Mumbai
  • Nov 27: Kasab caught and placed under arrest, admitted to Nair Hospital
  • Nov 30: Kasab confesses before the police
2009
  • Feb 5: Kasab's DNA samples match with articles found in Kuber, the boat used by Kasab and his associates to reach Mumbai shores
  • Apr 17: Kasab's confession was opened in court, he retracted
  • Apr 20: The prosecution charged Kasab on 312 counts
  • Dec 16: The prosecution completed its case in 26/11
  • Dec 18: Kasab denied all charges
2010
  • May 3: Kasab was convicted, Sabauddin Ahmed and Faheem Ansari were acquitted
  • May 6: Kasab was sentenced to death by the trial court
2011
  • Feb 21: Bombay High Court upheld Kasab's death sentence
  • March: Kasab wrote a letter to the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order
  • Oct 10: The SC stayed the execution of the death sentence awarded to Kasab when he told the SC he was brainwashed like a "robot" into committing the heinous crime in the name of "God" and he did not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age
2012
  • Apr 25: The SC reserves its verdict after a marathon hearing, spanning over two and a half months
  • Aug 29, 2012: The SC upheld the death sentence of Kasab and the acquittal of two alleged Indian co-conspirators in the case

“I made my arguments and the court considered those. No lawyer should be attached to the result of the case....Let us all take pride in our judicial system,” he said, adding he considered Kasab’s case one of the greatest challenges of his career. “I think the court has given anxious consideration to various submissions made on behalf of the accused and that is a matter of satisfaction,” Ramachandran said after the apex court judgment.

He added, “I would not call it an opportunity (to be amicus curiae in Kasab’s case). I think it was an honour given to me. I took it as a sacred duty and performed it to the best of my ability.”




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