Little scope for immediate execution

Slain policemens families want special courts decision to be implemented without the usual delay

Little scope for immediate execution

Kasab could be the 30th in the long list of convicts who are waiting to be sent to the gallows since 2004. REUTERS/CNN IBNIn fact, the award of the death penalty by the special court is the beginning of the long procedure, of which the designated judge M L Tahilyani himself was deeply concerned.
By an official estimate, Kasab could be the 30th in the long list of convicts who are waiting to be sent to the gallows since 2004, when the last execution in the country was carried out.

Under the law, a death penalty needs to be confirmed by the high court, in this case, by the Bombay High Court.

Kavita karkare: Kasab must be hanged immediatelyKasab will move the high court with an appeal against the verdict, or the government appeals against acquittal of two accused - Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. The special court itself will send the entire judgement to the high court for ratification, as required under Section 366 of the CrPC.

The orders of a lower court are generally challenged in a higher court by either of the parties but in cases of death sentences, the orders are mandated to be confirmed by the High Court.

In either cases, the judgement copy and the entire evidence has to be prepared in a ‘book’ and copies of it will have to be handed over to the convict, which itself will take a couple of months.

According to criminal lawyer Mobin Solkar, it will take a minimum six to eight months for the matter to come up before the high court for hearing.

Once before the Bombay High Court, all the evidence will again be examined by it. The High Court will then decide whether to uphold the decision or to convert it to a less harsher punishment.

Even if the High Court upholds the death sentence given by the special court, Kasab can challenge it in the Supreme Court. The apex court will again look at all the aspects of previous judgments, evidence, developments and arguments and give its final verdict.
If the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty, Kasab can still file a mercy petition before the President under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution.

Pending cases

And here lies the catch. At present, 29 such cases are pending before the President waiting a decision on their clemency petition, including that of Parliament attack case convict Mohammed Afzal, who is at number 22 in the list.

Accomplices of notorious Veerappan — Simon, Ghanaprakash, Madaiah, Bilavendra, accused of killing 21 policemen are at number 18, Babbar Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist Devender Pal Singh who was convicted of killing nine persons is at 17, conspirators of Rajiv Gandhi assassination Murugan, Santhan and Arivu of Tamil Nadu are also waiting a decision on their petition at number 13. Kasab will be the newest to join this list and if he moves with a mercy petition, then no one can tell how many years it will take.

Slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s wife Kavita hit precisely at this point and said she will be satisfied only after Kasab is hanged.

Judge Tahilyani himself warned of a possibility of another Kandhahar hijack, when five dreaded terrorists were swapped for passengers. “Keeping such a person alive will be a lingering danger to society,” the judge said.

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