NEW DELHI: Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist who was convicted of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, on Tuesday pleaded with the apex court to reduce his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.
Raju Ramachandran, amicus curiae in the case, said the cost of keeping the terrorist alive should not be considered by the court while deciding whether to hang him or not. It is for the legislature to consider the cost issue, he added.
At present, Kasab is lodged in a special cell in the Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail.
Ramachandran said, “In view of Kasab’s young age and as he was supposedly drawn into terror by exploitation of religious sentiments, false ideology and distortion Kasab should be given a milder sentence.”
“Kasab has not waged war against India,” said Ramachandran.
“The choice before the Supreme Court is life and irreversible death penalty. It would not be prudent to affirm the extreme penalty,” said Ramachandran.
He also told a Bench, comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, that Kasab should be treated like any other accused.
At this, Justice Alam said the Pakistani gunman’s trial was unlike any ordinary murder trial.
“There may be hundreds of murder trials going in this country because of the facts and circumstances of the case. But in many ways, this case is entirely different. Application of law is one thing, but the manner of trial is different, venue of the trial (inside jail), special court, day-to-day hearing etc,” he added.
It was in May 2010 that the trial court had sentenced Kasab to death. The same was upheld by the Bombay High Court in February last year.