HC confirms Kasab''s death penalty, acquits Faheem, Sabauddin

Mumbai, Feb 21 (PTI) Nine months after he was handeddown death penalty by the trial court, the Bombay High Courttoday upheld the sentence of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal AmirKasab for the "brutal and diabolical" 26/11 Mumbai attacksaimed at "destabilising" the government.

The court, however, upheld the trial court''s acquittalof two alleged Indian co-conspirators Faheem Ansari andSabauddin Ahmed for want of corroborative evidence.

Showing no signs of remorse, 24-year-old Kasab, cladin a white kurta and sporting a beard came on the screen fiveminutes before the bench sat and was seen smiling in theArthur Road jail.

"Aapko sazaye maut yeh adalat barkarar karti hai. Abaap Supreme Court mein appeal zahir kar sakte hai" (This courtupholds your death sentence and you may appeal in SupremeCourt)," Justice Ranjana Desai of the division bench alsocomprising Justice R V More told Kasab who appeared throughvideo conference.

Dismissing an appeal filed by state Government againstacquittal of Faheem and Sabauddin, the judges said, "We agreewith the trial court that there is no corroborative evidenceto prove their involvement. The evidence of witnesses are notcredible and the main link is missing".

The court held that Kasab''s crime fell under therarest of rare category deserving capital punishment.

"It is rarest of the rare case and is an uncommoncrime...there is no scope for reform or rehabilitation and aharsh penalty of death is required. Kasab has never shown anysigns of remorse and we also have observed that he has notshown repentance whenever he appeared on video conference",the bench remarked.

In its 1208-page judgement, the court also observedthat Kasab was not influenced by anyone and that he hadapplied his own mind and voluntarily joined Pakistan-basedterror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). .

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