Kasab shuns high court proceedings

Terrorist wants to be taken to courtroom in person
Last Updated : 20 October 2010, 16:43 IST

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  The terrorist insisted that he must be taken to the courtroom in person. Soon after the proceedings began at 11 am, a jail authority told a division bench of justices Ranjana Desai and R V More that Kasab refused to attend the hearing.

 The court is currently hearing the state’s arguments on confirmation of the death penalty imposed on Kasab by a trial court. It is mandatory under the law that the death sentence given by the trial court must be confirmed by a high court.

Kasab is currently lodged in a bomb-proof and bullet-proof cell at the high-security Arthur Road Central Prison in Mumbai.  The high court earlier allowed the state’s plea for Kasab’s participation in the proceedings through video conferencing on security grounds.
 The convicted terrorist, who attended the hearing via video conference for past two days, on Tuesday demanded that he be allowed to come to the court in person and walked away in a huff after spitting at the webcam.

Continuing his arguments on confirmation of the death sentence, the government’s special counsel Ujjwal Nikam related the sequence of attacks unleashed by Kasab and his slain terrorist accomplice Abu Ismael at Cama Hospital.

Nikam also submitted before the court statements of police officials including additional commissioner of police Sadanand Date, who were engaged in a crossfire with the duo. Lauding the presence of mind of nurses at the hospital who closed the gates of several floors in the hospital thus prohibiting the terrorist duo from entering, Justice Desai said: “They did a good job or else there would have been more damage.”

In another development, Kasab’s lawyer Amin Solkar brought to the attention of the court that he was not allowed to meet his client on Tuesday on the ground that he had come after the closing hours of the prison.

The court said it would pass an order directing the jail authorities to permit Solkar to meet Kasab any time.

The high court, after hearing the arguments on confirmation of death penalty, would hear the petition filed by Kasab challenging his conviction and then the state’s appeal against the acquittal of two Indian nationals — Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed — accused of helping the terrorists in their plot. Faheem and Sabauddin were charged with preparing maps of Mumbai and giving them to the Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba, which plotted the attack. The accused were acquitted by the trial court citing lack of evidence.

Published 20 October 2010, 13:43 IST

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