Kasab given fair trial, Maharashtra govt tells SC
The Maharashtra government today refuted the allegation of the sole convict in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, that he was not given fair trial and said death sentence awarded to him was a permissible means of punishment.
Ajmal Kasab. File pic
Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the state government, contended that Kasab was never tortured or maltreated and there has been no violation of his constitutional rights.
"At no point of time he was tortured or maltreated by the authorities and there has been no failure of constitutional rights given to him," he submitted before a bench comprising justices Aftam Alam and C K Prasad. Subramaniam also submitted that death sentence, which has been awarded to Kasab, is a permissible means of punishment.
Referring to the entire sequence of events leading to the 26/11 attack, which was planned by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in Pakistan, he submitted that had Kasab not been caught alive, then it would not have been possible to know that outsiders were involved in the mayhem. 24-year-old Kasab had yesterday pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who has been appointed amicus curiae by the apex court to defend Kasab, had told the bench that he was not a part of the larger conspiracy for waging war against the nation. Stressing on Kasab's age as an important factor to commute his sentence, he had pleaded for a lenient approach as he was drawn into it as a result of exploitation of religious faith and false ideology.
Maintaining that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against Kasab beyond doubts, he had said that his right against self-incrimination as well as his right to get himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial. The apex court had on October 10 last year stayed the death sentence of Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the November 2008 Mumbai attack.
In the special leave petition (SLP) filed by Kasab challenging the Bombay High Court judgement, he had claimed he was brainwashed like a "robot" into committing the heinous crime in the name of "God" and that he does not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age. Kasab, who is lodged in Arthur Road prison in Mumbai, had moved the SLP through the jail authorities. He had challenged his conviction and death sentence in the terror attack case.
Kasab, along with nine other Pakistani terrorists, had landed at Budhwar Park in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008, night after travelling from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various city landmarks, leaving 166 people dead and many more wounded.
While Kasab was captured, the other terrorists in the group were killed by security forces during the counter-terror operations. He was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May 6, 2010. The Bombay High Court had on February 21, last year, upheld the trial court order of death sentence to Kasab for the "brutal and diabolical" attacks aimed at "destabilising" the government.
Kasab's death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law -- Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The high court had upheld Kasab's conviction on 19 counts under the IPC, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Foreigners Act, Passport Act and Railway Act.