26/11: Ajmal Kasab's plea to spare life rejected by SC

Ajmal Amir Kasab

Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab's nearly four-year legal battle for life in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case ended today with the Supreme Court upholding his death sentence while observing that the crime planned in Pakistan was of unprecedented enormity.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad said, "this is a case of terrorist attack from across the border.

"It has a magnitude of unprecedented enormity on all scales. The conspiracy behind the attack was as deep and large as it was vicious. The preparation and training for the execution was as thorough as the execution was ruthless."

The court held 25-year-old Kasab guilty of waging war against the country, saying the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed showed a degree of depravity on his part seen in very few cases.

In terms of loss of life and property, and more importantly in its traumatising effect, the case stands alone, for awarding death penalty to Kasab who showed no remorse for his devilish act, the court said.

"It is at least the very rarest of rare to come before this court since the birth of the Republic. Therefore, it should also attract the rarest of rare punishment," the bench said.

The court dismissed Kasab's contention that the trial was not fair because the government did not provide him advocate during the time when he was arrested and put of trial.

Refusing to show any mercy to Kasab on account of hisyoung age and illiteracy, the apex court observed, "the offences committed by the appellant show a degree of cruelty, brutality and depravity as in very few other cases.

"It is already seen above that the appellant never showed any repentance or remorse, which is the first sign of any possibility of reform and rehabilitation."

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