Supreme Court stays Kasab’s death sentenceOctober 10th, 2011 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday stayed the death sentence awarded to Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist captured alive during the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai mayhem, till his appeal is disposed of. Kasab, contesting his conviction, claimed he was brainwashed by the co-accused to act like a robot and unleash the massacre.
The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice C.K. Prasad said “pending the disposal of the case, the (death) sentence is stayed”.
Addressing Raju Ramachandran, who has been appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court), Justice Alam said: “Does your man (Kasab) deserve it? Many people think he does not (deserve it)”.
Ramachandran said, “People may think so but due process (of justice) requires it (opportunity to defend himself)”.
Kasab’s petition said: “The (Bombay) High Court ought to have held that even if the petitioner was guilty for the offence alleged, this wasn’t a fit case for imposing death sentence on the petitioner inter-alia for the reason that the petitioner’s mind was completely brainwashed by the other co-accused…”
“He was acting like a robot having been made to believe that he was acting in the name of God when he was allegedly told to commit the aforesaid offences,” Kasab’s appeal said.
The petition said, “The high court ought to have held that the petitioner was barely 21 years of age and being of impressionable mind has failed to see the difference between right and wrong and he, therefore, did not deserve the death penalty”.
“The prosecution’s own case revealed that the petitioner was from an economically deprived section of society and that he left school at a young age and also ran way from home following a fight with his father,” the petition said.
Kasab said his mental and moral faculties were not fully developed at such a young age and hence “it cannot be asserted that the possibility for reformation is non-existent and that the alternative to the death penalty is foreclosed”.
The high court ought to have held that the confessional statement of petitioner (Kasab) recorded by the learned ACMM (additional chief metropolitan magistrate), Greater Mumbai, in February 2009 was “vitiated for the reason that the petitioner had not been provided assistance of a legal counsel prior to the recording of the said confession”, the petition said.
Kasab said that the precaution taken by the magistrate while recording his confessional statement was not sufficient as he was a “foreign national” and would not have been in a position to know the difference between police custody and judicial custody.
“In the present circumstances, it is reasonably possible to conclude that even the confession before the magistrate may not seem to be something entirely different to the accused than the confession before the police authorities,” the petition said.
Kasab said that the high court should have appreciated that he was “forcibly made to give blood samples, and made to confess as a result of police pressure and that any evidence collected by way of force could not be used against the petitioner as it would be violative” of principles of law.
Senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam appearing for the Maharashtra government told the court that “due process (of law) has to be observed but there are instances when the court have declined to interfere in the cases based on evidence and dismissed (at the threshold itself)”.
Subramaniam told the court that the matter required an expeditious hearing commensurate with due process of law.
At this, Justice Alam said that the matter should be heard “as expeditiously as possible. For all concerned it should get top priority”.
The court issued notice to the state government, and directed all the parties in the case to complete their pleadings by Nov 30. The final hearing in the case would be held Jan 31, 2012.
Before the final hearing, the matter would be listed Friday when the state government’s petition challenging the acquittal of co-accused Fahim Harshad Mohammad Yusuf Ansari and Sabauddin Shaikh in the Mumbai terror attack case will be tagged with Kasab’s appeal.
Kasab was one of 10 Pakistanis who illegally sailed into India from Pakistan and launched the Nov 26-29 mayhem, killing 166 people, including many foreigners.
He was awarded death sentence by a Mumbai trial court May 6, 2010. Besides other charges, he was convicted for waging war against the nation. The high court upheld the verdict.
- Supreme Court reserves verdict on Kasab's plea (Lead) - Apr 25, 2012
- SC to decide Mumbai attacker Kasab's fate Wednesday - Aug 28, 2012
- I was denied legal help, Kasab tells apex court (Lead) - Jan 31, 2012
- Apex court to hear Kasab's plea Monday - Oct 09, 2011
- Supreme Court backs death for Kasab (Sixth Lead) - Aug 29, 2012
- Mumbai attack: Supreme Court debunks Kasab claim (Lead) - Feb 08, 2012
- Trial court's death penalty verdict flawed: Kasab - Feb 14, 2012
- 'Perverse' 26/11 attacker Kasab's death penalty upheld for attacking Indian state (Intro Roundup) - Feb 21, 2011
- Supreme Court backs death for Kasab (Third Lead) - Aug 29, 2012
- Kasab claims trial court's death penalty verdict flawed (Lead) - Feb 14, 2012
- Supreme Court backs death for Kasab (Fifth Lead) - Aug 29, 2012
- Supreme Court backs death for Kasab (Fourth Lead) - Aug 29, 2012
- Supreme Court upholds Kasab's death sentence (Lead) - Aug 29, 2012
- 26/11 was attack on India's sovereignty, says apex court - Feb 09, 2012
- Nithari killings: Apex court confirms death for Koli (Second Lead) - Feb 15, 2011
Tags: aftab, alam, amir, apex, apex court, bombay high court, court bench, court justice, death penalty, death sentence, due process, friend of the court, kasab, moral faculties, name of god, offence, petitioner, prasad, ramachandran, reformation