Mumbai terror attack: Kasab pleads for life in SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 00:22

New Delhi: The sole convict in the 26/11
Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, on Tuesday pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who has been appointed
as amicus curiae by the apex court to defend Kasab, told a
bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam that he was not a part of
the larger conspiracy for waging war against the nation.

Stressing on Kasab`s age as an important factor to
commute his sentence, he pleaded for a lenient approach as he
was drawn into this by exploitation of religious faith and
false ideology.

"The choice before the Supreme Court is life
(imprisonment) and irreversible death penalty. It would not be
prudent to affirm the extreme penalty," he said.

"Even if I am guilty under section 302 (punishment for
murder) of the IPC and other provisions, it cannot be said
that I was a part of the larger conspiracy of waging war,"
he submitted on behalf of Kasab.

Maintaining that the prosecution has failed to prove the
case against him beyond doubts, he told the bench that his
right against self-incrimination as well as his right to get
himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself
in the case have been violated during the trial.

The apex court had on October 10 last year stayed the
death sentence of 24-year-old Kasab, the lone surviving
terrorist involved in the November, 2008, Mumbai attack.

In the special leave petition filed by Kasab challenging
the Bombay High Court judgement, he claimed he was brainwashed
like a "robot" into committing the heinous crime in the name
of "God" and that he does not deserve capital punishment owing
to his young age.

Kasab has been lodged in Arthur Road prison in Mumbai and
had moved the SLP through jail authorities. He had challenged
his conviction and death sentence in the terror attack case.

Kasab, along with nine other Pakistani terrorists, had
landed at Budhwar Park 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, leaving 166 people
dead and many more wounded.

While Kasab was captured, the other terrorists in the
group were killed by police in counter-terror operations. He
was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May
6, 2010.

The Bombay High Court had on February 21, 2011, upheld
the trial court order of death sentence to Kasab for the
"brutal and diabolical" attacks aimed at "destabilising" the
government.

Kasab`s death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal
conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other
provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law --
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The High Court had upheld Kasab`s conviction on 19 counts
under the IPC, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances
Act, the Foreigners Act, the Passport Act and the Railway Act.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 00:22

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