New Delhi: Continuing the tradition of being fair even to the most heinous criminals, the Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed leading Supreme Court lawyer Raju Ramachandran as the counsel for 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack accused Ajmal Kasab.
The appointment came a day after the Supreme Court approached Ramchandran to defend Kasab in the apex court on his death row appeal.
Several lawyers were approached to defend Kasab in the apex court, but no one agreed to take up the case.
Ramachandran, who was the amicus curiae in the apex court hearing for Zakia Jafri`s petition seeking a probe against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others in Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 riots, described the appointment as a "discharge of his professional responsibilities".
Kasab, a Pakistani national, was the lone terrorist caught alive in the three-day terror siege of Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 were killed. He was convicted and awarded the death sentence by a Mumbai trial court. This was upheld by the High Court.
The Bombay High Court in its verdict on February 21 had upheld the death sentence of Kasab by a fast track court for the "brutal and diabolical" 26/11 Mumbai attacks, aimed at "destabilising" the government. The Pakistani terrorist’s death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against the nation.
On July 28, Kasab moved to the Supreme Court challenging his death sentence through a letter.
The 26/11 terror strikes, which startled India and the world snuffed out the lives of at least 166 innocent people and wounded more than 300. Among the dead were 136 Indians and 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries.