Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s legal battle in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case came to an end Wednesday with the Supreme Court upholding the death sentence pronounced upon him.
The court held Kasab guilty of waging war against India and said it was left with no option but to uphold the death sentence.
Judges Aftab Alam and C K Prasad dismissed Kasab’s plea against his conviction by the trial court and the death sentence confirmed by the Bombay High Court, saying he was given a free and fair trial.
“Kasab’s confessional statement was very much voluntary except a very small portion,” the bench ruled.
In the 395-page verdict, the judges dismissed Kasab’s contention that the trial was not fair because the government had not provided him an advocate during the pretrial state.
“If lawyers are not provided at the commencement of a trial, then the trial is vitiated.
But the trial is not vitiated if a lawyer is not provided at the pre-trial stage,” the bench said.
The judges also observed that going by the evidence, it was clear that the conspiracy and planning of the attack was hatched in Pakistan.
The court also slammed the media for live coverage of the 26/11 attack, calling it “totally wrong and unacceptable” as it made security forces’ fight with terrorists “exceedingly difficult.
” Kasab, who along with nine other terrorists had gone on a shooting spree at various landmarks in Mumbai, now has the option of filing a review petition in the apex court.
The verdict found resounding acceptance among most political parties and people and led to a demand for his execution at the earliest.
Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said government will ensure that if Kasab files a mercy plea, it is disposed of in minimum time and asked Pakistan to punish other perpetrators taking shelter on its soil.