HC to use video conference to hear Kasab case from Oct 18

Government counsel Ujjwal Nikam said Kasab had threat to his life and it would be a risky affair for police to bring him every day from Central jail, 10 km away from the high court. A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai suggested that Kasab could appear through video conference. To this, Nikam said the state would take two weeks to have this facility in the court by October 18 with the help of MTNL.

The judges said the court will not further wait for Kasab to file an appeal but go ahead with confirmation of capital punishment given to him on May 6 by the trial court. They said the 60-day period for filing appeal after the judgement had already lapsed but allowed Kasab to file appeal anytime before October 18.

Kasab's lawyer Farhana Shah, on a directive issued by the court earlier in the day, met Kasab in jail and informed judges that he was keen to appear through video conference. Farhana filed an application praying that directive may be issued to the state to allow her to take interview of Kasab "within the sight (of police) but not hearing". Arguments will be heard on September 28 after the state files a reply.

In a related development, an activist of right wing organisation Azad Hind Sena alleged that Nikam was a member of Kasab's gang and that the 26/11 attacks were not at the behest of Pakistan but because of him (activist). The court, however, refused to entertain him saying he had not filed intervention application and asked police to remove him from the court.

On May 6, Kasab was sentenced to death for killing 166 people on November 26, 2008. On May 24, he was served a copy of the judgement in jail. Later, the high court appointed lawyers Amin Solkar and Shah to defend him.

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