Kasab to hang, confirms HC

Terrorist found guilty on four counts

Kasab to hang, confirms HC

A division Bench, comprising Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjit More delivered the verdict, holding him guilty on four counts. “Aapko saza-e-maut yeh adalat barkarar karti hai. Aap Supreme Court mein appeal kar sakte hain (The death sentence awarded to you is confirmed. You can move the Supreme Court with an appeal,” Justice Desai told Kasab, who was clad in white kurta and pyjama.

Kasab, who appeared on the screen erected inside court room 49 through video link from his bomb-proof high security cell at Arthur Road Central Prison, lifted his face when the judges addressed him, broke a wry smile and replied, “Shukriya (thank you).”

He  has 30 days to appeal in the Supreme Court. Kasab was convicted on various counts like multiple murder, conspiracy, waging war against nation and indulging in terror acts. The court ratified all these convictions, which also carry, besides the death penalty, 50 years of rigorous imprisonment.

“There is no scope of reform or rehabilitation of the convicted-accused. It is a rarest of rare case and the court cannot be more confident than it is today that death penalty must be given,” the judges said while reading out the operative part of the 1,208-page judgment.

While Kasab and his partner in crime, Abu Ismail, killed 56 people at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Cama Hospital,  Rangbhavan lane and the Girgaum Chowpatti, Kasab was held directly responsible for individually killing at least seven people, including Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamate and inspector Vijay Salaskar.

Kasab’s lawyers had argued that the death sentence should not apply because he is 24 years old.  But the judges said “the diabolical and brutal nature of the crime over-rides the age factor.”

On the occasion, the judges did not fail to highlight the bravery of the National Security Guard commandos and policemen who fought the terrorists during the 26/11 strikes.
The High Court also confirmed the acquittal of two suspected Indian operatives of the Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba Faheem Ansari and Sabahuddin Shaikh.

The Maharashtra government is likely to challenge this verdict before the apex court.

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