Ajmal Kasab is mentally sound: Bombay HC

Describing Pakistani terrorist as a person of sound mind, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday turned down his petition seeking constitution of a medical board to study his psychological profile and mental health.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 19:01 PM IST

Mumbai: Describing Pakistani terrorist as a
person of sound mind, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday turned down
his petition seeking constitution of a medical board to study
his psychological profile and mental health.

Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More said Kasab was
mentally sound and there was no need to refer him to medical
board to assess his psychological profile and mental
condition.
The judges said they had interviewed Kasab earlier and he
had expressed his wish to come personally to hear the 26/11
proceedings. Kasab had also said that he had no faith in the
Indian judiciary and wanted to be tried outside India.

"This showed that he was making statements with a sound
mind and clear perception and there was nothing wrong with his
frame of mind," the judges noted and dismissed his plea to
refer him to a medical board.

The court also rejected Kasab`s plea to appoint an NGO
working in India and Pakistan to make a study on his family
background and circumstances which made him participate in the
26/11 terror attacks for which he was sentenced to death by
the trial court.

The judgement comes a day after the High Court rejected
Kasab`s plea for to set up a medical team to determine whether
he was a juvenile.

The High Court is hearing Kasab`s appeal against his
conviction and also arguments on confirmation of death
sentence awarded to him by the trial court for his role in the
26/11 terror attacks.

Asserting that Kasab was of sound mind, Government
Counsel Ujjwal Nikam said he was alert during the trial,
citing examples to prove that Kasab had acted prudently to
save himself. Kasab had always acted in a prudent and
reasonable manner and never displayed signs of a mentally
deranged man.

Nikam said Kasab had exercised his right as an accused
and had given voluntarily given a confession to a Magistrate
about his role in the 26/11 attacks. Later, he retracted his
confession in the trial court.
From time to time, Kasab had instructed his lawyers and
strongly defended himself in the court, Nikam said, adding
that Kasab had taken a u-turn in the trial by alleging that he
was arrested by Indian intelligence agency RAW, much prior to
26/11 attacks and was later handed over to police.

Nikam did not agree with defence lawyer Amin Solkar that
Kasab did not get reasonable opportunity for giving
submissions on quantum of sentence.

Kasab was given sufficient opportunity to argue on the
point of sentence, he said.

Kasab was convicted on May 3 and three days later the
court gave him death penalty. During this period, Kasab or his
lawyers did not ask for more time to argue on quantum of
sentence, Nikam said.

Accepting contentions of Nikam, the court held that
Kasab appeared to be a person of sound mind and rejected his
plea to set up a medical board to examine his psychological
profile and frame of mind.

PTI