In a jolt to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Qasab, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed his plea to order an enquiry to determine whether he was a juvenile even as prosecution sought confirmation of death penalty awarded to him in the 26/11 terror attacks.
In another development, the High Court asked the prosecution to file its reply tomorrow to another petition filed by Qasab seeking constitution of medical board to study his psychological profile and mental frame of mind.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice VM More held that the trial court, after holding an enquiry into Qasab*s age, had come to the conclusion that he was a major. The judges said since the issue had already been decided by the trial court, Qasab*s plea for a fresh enquiry into his age could not be considered now.
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued that the trial had conducted a probe into Qasab*s age by making him undergo ossification test. After considering the opinion of doctors and evidence, the court had held that Qasab was not a juvenile and that he was above 20.
The judges felt that such a plea at the fag end of the case in the High Court appears to be a move to postpone the hearing of confirmation of Qasab*s death sentence.
Qasab*s lawyers Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah have also requested the court to appoint an NGO working in India and Pakistan to evaluate his family background and circumstances which made him participate in the 26/11 terror attacks for which he was sentenced to death. This issue would be decided tomorrow.