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SC upholds death sentence for Qasab

The Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab, saying that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by the Pakistani terrorist.

Ajmal Qasab, 26/11
Ajmal Qasab (File pic)

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad dismissed the plea of 25-year-old Qasab challenging his conviction and death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court.

The bench rejected his contention that he was not given a free and fair trial in the case.

The bench also observed that the failure of government to provide him an advocate at the pre-trial stage did not vitiate trial court proceedings against him.

It also held that the confessional statement given by Qasab, which he retracted during trial, was very much voluntary except a very small portion.

Qasab along with nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed 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, in which 166 people were killed.

While he was captured alive, the other terrorists in his group were killed by security forces during the counter-terror operations. 

The apex court also upheld the acquittal of two Indians, who were alleged to be co-conspirators in the Mumbai terror attack case.

The trial court and Bombay High Court had also given clean chit to Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the case.

The bench held that evidence showed that the conspiracy and planning of the 26/11 carnage was hatched in Pakistan.

Reacting to the verdict, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed by the apex court as amicus curiae to defend Kasab, said, "I bow down to the apex court verdict."

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