HC rejects Kasab's plea for medical board to know mental state

Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More said Kasab was mentally sound and there was no need to refer him to medical board to assess his psychological profile and mental condition.

The judges said they had interviewed Kasab earlier and he had expressed his wish to come personally to hear the 26/11 proceedings. Kasab had also said that he had no faith in the Indian judiciary and wanted to be tried outside India.

"This showed that he was making statements with a sound mind and clear perception and there was nothing wrong with his frame of mind," the judges noted and dismissed his plea to refer him to a medical board.

The court also rejected Kasab's plea to appoint an NGO working in India and Pakistan to make a study on his family background and circumstances which made him participate in the 26/11 terror attacks for which he was sentenced to death by the trial court.

The judgement comes a day after the High Court rejected Kasab's plea for to set up a medical team to determine whether he was a juvenile.

The High Court is hearing Kasab's appeal against his conviction and also arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to him by the trial court for his role in the 26/11 terror attacks.

Asserting that Kasab was of sound mind, Government Counsel Ujjwal Nikam said he was alert during the trial, citing examples to prove that Kasab had acted prudently to save himself. Kasab had always acted in a prudent and reasonable manner and never displayed signs of a mentally deranged man.

Nikam said Kasab had exercised his right as an accused and had given voluntarily given a confession to a Magistrate about his role in the 26/11 attacks. Later, he retracted his confession in the trial court.

From time to time, Kasab had instructed his lawyers and strongly defended himself in the court, Nikam said, adding that Kasab had taken a u-turn in the trial by alleging that he was arrested by Indian intelligence agency RAW, much prior to 26/11 attacks and was later handed over to police.

Nikam did not agree with defence lawyer Amin Solkar that Kasab did not get reasonable opportunity for giving submissions on quantum of sentence.

Kasab was given sufficient opportunity to argue on the point of sentence, he said.
Kasab was convicted on May 3 and three days later the court gave him death penalty. During this period, Kasab or his lawyers did not ask for more time to argue on quantum of sentence, Nikam said.

Accepting contentions of Nikam, the court held that Kasab appeared to be a person of sound mind and rejected his plea to set up a medical board to examine his psychological profile and frame of mind.

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