Kasab may be hanged by year-end: Govt

Kasab`s appeal against his death sentence will be fasttracked if the case goes in appeal.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Amir Kasab`s appeal against his death sentence will be fasttracked, if the case goes in appeal, and he will be hanged within a year.

"Even if the case goes in appeal, it will and should be fasttracked. Kasab will be hanged in the next one year. He committed a barbaric act in front of so many witnesses," Moily told a TV channel.

Talking to another channel, Moily said since public sentiments are
attached with the terror attack, the courts can adopt a speedy

"Kasab case will be one such case which needs to fast
tracked by the High Court and definitely the verdict should be
given," Moily said.

"This is a case where I do not think he (Kasab) can
invoke any provision of the mercy petition...The incident of
26/11 involved brutal and barabaric murder. He was an active
participant into it... that is how he was convicted and
sentenced to death in rarest of rare cases. This has been
considered by the judge who has convicted him... sentiments
are riding very high. This is a matter, which has to be
considered by everyone " Moily said.

On the issue of mercy petitions, the Law Minister said
"the time has come. We cannot delay the processing of mercy
petitions, whatever it may be. It can be processed early."

Earlier in the day, union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the chances of Kasab being hanged this year "are quite high" if he does not file a petition challenging his death sentence.

A special 26/11 trial court sentenced the lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai attack to death May 6, 17 months after the mayhem that killed 166 people. Kasab was convicted on more than 80 charges, including waging war against the nation.

Kasab has the option of challenging the sentencing in higher courts. If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict, the 23-year-old can also file a mercy petition before President Pratibha Patil.

According to the home ministry, there are 28 mercy applications pending in the president`s office, including the one of 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Asked about the status of Guru`s case, Pillai said: "It is with the government for consideration. The government takes full responsibility of current pending cases."

-Agencies inputs