SC upholds death sentence for 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab

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New Delhi, Aug 29: The Supreme Court of India announced death sentence for Mumbai 2008 terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab. A bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad dismissed the plea of 25-year-old terrorist, who challenged his conviction and death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court. Kasab had pleaded to commute the death sentence into a life sentence.

Kasab's counsel Raju Ramachandran said the former was only following instruction of the top LeT ranks and was a young men fed in extremist lessons. Ramachandran, who was appointed by the apex court as amicus curiae to defend Kasab, however, added later that he bowed down to the apex court's verdict.

The apex court said Kasab was indulged in an endless mayhem and it had no other option but to uphold the death sentence. Arguments like Kasab was not given legal aid or that he was not allowed a chance to defend himself were not bought either.

The Supreme Court said the biggest crime of Kasab was that he had waged a war against the nation. The Supreme Court also said that evidence showed that the conspiracy and planning of the terror attack had been prepared in Pakistan.

Kasab's team said that they would appeal for a presidential mercy. Kasab was awarded the death sentence by a Mumbai trial court on May 6, 2010. He was also convicted for waging war against the nation. He was the only terrorist who was caught alive during the anti-terror operation in Mumbai in Nov 2008.

Legal sources said Kasab and his team had plans to flee India after the operation in Mumbai.

Kasab was among the ten men from Karachi who illegally entered India via water route and launched an attack that killed 166 innocent people, including many foreigners. Kasab was apprehended by sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale but the latter sacrificed his life in the cause by falling prey to the terrorist's bullet. All his fellow-terrorists were killed by the security forces during the counter-terror operations.

The court is also set to give its verdict on the Maharashtra government's plea challenging the acquittal of Fahim Harshad Mohammad Yusuf Ansari and Sabauddin Shaikh, who were accused of providing topographical details to the terrorists. The apex court also upheld the duo's acquittal.

An apex court bench had earlier reserved the verdict following a marathon of arguments that continued for nearly three months since January.

Kasab said he was denied a fair trial for he was not provided legal assistance as has been termed mandatory by the Indian Constitution. Ramachandran had earlier informed the court that a fair trial was marred by denial of right to counsel at the earliest stage and right to protection against self-incrimination. Gopal Subramanium, who appeared for the Maharashtra government, however, countered by saying that legal aid was provided to Kasab from the very beginning.

The apex court had stayed Kasab's death sentence on Oct 10 last year.

OneIndia News

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