Mumbai attacks: Court upholds Kasab’s sentence

Published: February 22, 2011
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Relatives of Ahmedabad blasts’ victims hold a demonstration to welcome the verdict. PHOTO: AFP

Relatives of Ahmedabad blasts’ victims hold a demonstration to welcome the verdict. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DEHLI: The Bombay High Court on Monday confirmed the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab for waging war against India with the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

The court also held him responsible for the killing of senior police officials including Hemant Karkare, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief,  who was shot outside Cama Hospital along with Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

“There is no scope of reform or rehabilitation of the convicted accused. This is rarest of rare matter so he should face capital punishment. The court cannot be more confident than it is today that death penalty must be given. Kasab and Abu Ismail together killed 56 people,” the two-judge division bench comprising justices Ranjana Desai and RV More observed, while dismissing an appeal filed by Kasab challenging the death sentence by Special Judge ML Tahaliyani in May 2010.”

Kasab attacked the sovereignty of the government to “destabilise India and its economy,” said the judges. They said he had a “scheming mind” and was not influenced. His conviction was based on CCTV footage showing him striding across the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus with an AK-47 and a backpack.

“Your death sentence is upheld. You can appeal before the Supreme Court,” Justice Desai told a bearded Kasab.

The convict, who has not attended the appeal for security reasons but has been able to follow proceedings via video link, looked at the floor as the judgment was handed down, news channel NDTV said.

“Kasab has never shown any remorse after his arrest and we have observed that even on video conference he has not shown any signs of regret,” the judges added.

Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive during the attacks which killed 166 people, was sentenced to death last year by a trial court in Mumbai for waging war against India. Since his arrest, Kasab has been kept in a special bomb-proof and bullet-proof cell at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.

While upholding Kasab’s death sentence the high court also dismissed Maharashtra Government’s appeal against acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in its 1208-page judgement. Fahim and Sabauddin were accused of preparing maps of Mumbai and giving them to alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives. Maharashtra government has decided to appeal against the acquittal of the duo in the Supreme Court.

Kasab’s lawyers had argued that the death sentence should not apply because he is 24 years old. But the judges said: “The diabolical and brutal nature of the crime over-rides the age factor.”

His lawyer, Farhana Shah, said that her client still has a chance and is likely to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court’s order which upheld the death sentence. “We will go through the judgement and then suggest Kasab on the next course of legal action. It is up to Kasab to decide,” said Shah.

Under Indian law, death sentence cases have to be referred to the local state high court. The judges can uphold the sentence, reduce it, order a retrial or overturn the conviction.

If Kasab appeals to the Supreme Court and it (appeal) is rejected, as a last resort he can appeal to India’s president for clemency. WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • SA
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Thats good news finally!!Recommend

  • Steven
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:55AM

    In Mumbai case Raymond Davis (CIA agent) who is currently arrested in Lahore should be interviewed, he had close links with Pakistani militants. Mumbai tragedy could have been US plot to begin a war in the region.Pakistan and Indian intelligence should work together to keep eye on the peoples who might want to stop our great nations to become Asian tigers.Recommend

  • Raj
    Feb 22, 2011 - 9:28AM

    Justice delayed is justice denied………Dr Afia Siddique, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Sahib, Raymond Davis, Ajmal Kasab, all are victims of ulterior legal system.Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Feb 22, 2011 - 11:32AM

    Good. All those who perpetrate violence against civilians in such fashion should hang. Kasab can never repay the loss of those who lost their loved ones. Their lives have been shattered and will never recover. Recommend

  • Feb 22, 2011 - 1:38PM

    His trial was made in Camera so no body knows what was his reaction to alleged charges framed against him and his reaction / statement in the court.

    An open trial would have been a real test for the proper justice.

    Now outside world dont know who is Kasaab and what were his real motives unless an open trial is accorded to him to express freely. He is a victim of blind justice to be prosecuted and hanged soon.

    If he is allowed to speak freely, India fears of the facts coming out from him mouth which may not be acceptable to them.Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Feb 22, 2011 - 2:56PM

    @Raj:
    Ulterior legal system? Care to explain?Recommend

  • ravi
    Feb 22, 2011 - 3:21PM

    @Steven:
    when did you graduated from madarsa in pakistan????Recommend

  • inderjit sahota
    Feb 22, 2011 - 6:15PM

    he was caught with weapons and was seen butchering indiscriminately at anyone he could see.
    his apologists,like those here,are guilty as him. Have their god have mercy upon these immoral peopleRecommend

  • Nil
    Feb 22, 2011 - 7:07PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: You want justice to be done in middile of market. You must not be knowing who kasab is and from where he is, but your government and world knows it very well. Dont turn your eyes. Accept the fact.Recommend

  • Raj
    Feb 22, 2011 - 7:21PM

    @pl/sql…”Ulterior legal system means system with a hidden motive. Everyone knows that Kasb killed scores of people in India and was caught on the camera. But India ( read congress party ) do not want him to hang due to Muslim Vote Bank. On the hand, Raymond Davis killed two persons, every day government changes its stance, before giving any concrete sentence to him Pakistan government weighs billions of dollars it receives from the US. Because of the same constraint, Pakistan handed over Dr. Afia Siddique to the US. As far Rehat Sahib is concerned, it is a real dilemma for India, because of his VIP status, Bollywood ( under world, black money etc) connection, fan following, Indo-Pak relations, India is not finding a suitable ‘ punishment” for him besides $34,000.00 in fine.Recommend

  • Bambbaayyaa
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:09PM

    @ so called Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    Madrassa isuues Doctors degrees tooo …. hmmmm thats new to me !!!!
    Are you in touch with the outer world ??? or u just reading the local Urdu news papers ??Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Feb 22, 2011 - 8:14PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Kasab recused himself by throwing tantrums in court. He was present at the court for almost 90% of the trial until he started to behave erratically. It would help to glean some facts before making sweeping statements.Recommend

  • Feb 23, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @inderjit sahota: and @J.Oberoi
    caught with weapon is no evidence of his guiltiness unless you have witness or proof of his firing or killing people. He is innocent unless proven guilty. Who know that he made appologies. Jungle may mor Naacha kiss nay dekha. When the trial was in Camera, Govt can say anything but is not acceptable. Govt of India keep saying that more than 50% voters have casted their votes in Kashmir but she fails to allow foreign press / media people to witness polls in Kashmir. Therefore it is not Pakistan but the international community who disbelieves acts and words of Indian Government.

    @Nil Well if Kasab was allowed to speak up, we would have known if he was a Pakistani or an Indian. This fact still needs to be verified and confirmed as Government of India did not allow our Home Department representative to meet Kassab to cross examine him.

    @Bambbaayyaa Well Madressas DO NOT issue Doctrate degrees somebody gave you a wrong information. Yes I am proud to read Urdu Newspapers beside reading English Newspapers.

    The fact is that Kasab should be tried in open Court and if it is proved that he is guilty he must be tried and hanged. Also his identity and connections be know openly in the Court.
    We cannot believe what Government spokesman said. May be he is giving his statements under duress.

    Justice my friend justice is needed. Justice delayed is justice denied.Recommend

  • let there be peace
    Feb 23, 2011 - 12:12AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    you speak like a real pakistani and a real muslim.Recommend

  • J.Oberoi
    Feb 23, 2011 - 9:06AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    At some levels, I am not too perturbed that you guys are still in deep denial about what is happening to your country if your comments are anything to go by. Keep up the good work.Recommend

  • Daubic
    Feb 23, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Hello Dr. Saleem Siddiqi, caught with a weapon in a public place is not a crime according to Pakistan but throwing a visiting card of the medical rep whose name is Muhammad is crime in Pakistan and Blasphemy charges would fall on them. You ask for open courts, why the hell the cases in Audiala Jail where your patriot Lakhvi is jailed why don’t they conduct in open courts. Are you afraid that he will spill out that your ISI is behind the crime and why he should alone suffer for the whole mistake done by ISI and its strategic assets(non-state actors in your words). There is no point in arguing with you you would never change the perspective.Recommend

  • G.Din
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:05AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    His trial was made in Camera so no body knows what was his reaction to alleged charges framed against him and his reaction / statement in the court.
    An open trial would have been a real test for the proper justice. “

    So will be the trial of Raymond Davis held in your country. You should tell your country that it does not meet your standards of justice.
    Don’t worry Kasab will have many chances. The Supreme Court will now take up the case and all evidence shall be reexamined. But, if you feel the whole judiciary of India is incapable of providing justice to him, there are the Indian NGO’s and International Human Rights Organization. His case will not go in default.
    Considering how the judicial system squeaks ever so imperceptibly in India, he will have spent a long life of leisure before he is brought to the gallows, if ever! Imagine if he had committed his crime in Russia or China. He would have been strung the next morning in public!Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Feb 24, 2011 - 6:45AM

    Dr Saleem Siddiqi Sahib, It is admitted by GoP that Kasab is a Pakistani. His shooting innocent people are on net. I humbly request you that to save your face please don’t make yourself more naked in the eyes of world. Please don’t do that.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:52PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    so he was caught with weapon what’s the bjg deal? So what you found his fingure prints on the weapon? He just pulled the trigger. The bullets killed the people. Its not him. He is as innocent as the goldfish in my aquarium. Why you Indians are always trying to frame us! Recommend

  • Bolimaga Bevarsi
    Feb 24, 2011 - 6:41PM

    @Saleem Siddiqi

    quote- “caught with weapon is no evidence of his guiltiness unless you have witness or proof of his firing or killing people.”

    Kids brainwashed with visions of virgins in your country and hate, is no evidence of societal degradation and bigotry until he blows himself up near your neighbourhood.

    similar analogy isn’t it doc.Recommend

  • Feb 25, 2011 - 10:15PM

    @SKChadha:
    It is modern world and with photographic trick you can fit any face but truth is truth and unless a crime is proven that he is guilty he will remain innocence.

    He will be one more martyr beside many being ruthlessly killed by Indian armed forced in Kashmir.

    Khon to khon hey – Yeh Rang Laega aik din – – – – Everything is not ok and atrosities will have to be paid one day.Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Feb 28, 2011 - 6:18AM

    @ Saleem Siddiqui

    Sir, Kiska Khoon Aur Kaun Sa Rang …. The blood of terrorist or the blood of innocent people killed in such attacks with no difference of religion, cast or creed…? Kasaab (butcher) is already proven guilty with evidences waiting for punishment and Salmaan Taseer Sahib is executed without a shred of evidence. Please let me know ‘Kiska Khoon Rang Layega’.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Mar 13, 2011 - 5:01PM

    @ steven
    I agree with you.We believe what media want us to believe on.If ajmal kassb is guilt then he is not even a human regardless of Muslim or PakistaniRecommend

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