HC upholds Kasab's death penalty

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has upheld the death sentence awarded to Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only Pakistani terrorist caught alive during the November 26, 2008 attack on Mumbai. The High Court upheld the lower court's order completely and found Kasab guilty of seven murders including the killings of senior Mumbai Police officials Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar."This is rarest of rare matter so he should face capital punishment. Kasab and Abu Ismail together killed 56 people," the two-judge division bench comprising justices Ranjana Desai and RV More observed while dismissing an appeal filed by Kasab challenging the death sentence by Special Judge ML Tahaliyani in May 2010.Kasab made his fourth appearance in the High Court through teleconferencing on Monday wearing a white kurta with his head down. The entire proceeding lasted for just a few moments before the court pronounced its verdict.
While upholding Kasab's death sentence the High Court also dismissed Maharashtra Government's appeal against acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in its 1208-page judgement. Fahim and Sabauddin were accused of preparing maps of Mumbai and giving them to alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives. Maharashtra government has decided to appeal against the acquittal of the duo in the Supreme Court.
Sabauddin's lawyer Ejaz Naqvi said that Kasab wanted the death penalty.
"What is important is that Kasab wanted death penalty. He has got it. Kasab was smiling today and looked that he was confident of getting the capital punishment," said Ejaz Naqvi.
Kasab has been sentenced to death for attacking Mumbai on November 26, 2008 along with nine other Pakistani terrorists and killing 166 people. He was found guilty of 80 offences, including waging war against the nation, which is punishable with the death penalty.
Tahaliyani on May 6, 2010 gave 22-year-old Kasab death sentence on five counts of murder, conspiracy to murder, waging war against the country, abetting murder and indulging in terrorist activities.
Kasab was also awarded life imprisonment on five other counts, which included attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and violation of the Explosive Substances Act.
While convicting him on June 3, the judge had ruled that Kasab was guilty of directly killing seven people and a total of 59 with associate Abu Ismail, who was shot dead after running into a police picket at Girgaun Chowpatty early on November 27 - shortly after the terror attack began in Mumbai on November 26 night.
His conviction was based on CCTV footage showing him striding across the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus with an AK-47 and a backpack.
The 60-hour audacious attack began on the night of November 26, 2008 and went on till the afternoon of November 29. Only Kasab was captured alive while the other nine terrorists were killed in the gunfight with security forces.