SC confirms death for Kasab, says his ‘only punishment’

FP

Describing the November 26, 2008 terror attack on Mumbai as an attack on India and Indians which deserved the rarest of rare punishment, the Supreme Court Wednesday confirmed the death sentence of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab.

A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad said that Kasab, the only Lashkar-e-Toiba attacker who survived the three-day outrage in India's financial capital, had shown no remorse or the possibility of rehabilitation after his arrest, and in fact considered himself as a "hero and a patriotic Pakistani at war". He had no feeling of pity and killed without the slightest twinge of conscience and the gallows remained the "only" punishment for him, the court said.

"This, to our mind, forecloses the possibility of any reform or rehabilitation of Kasab. The alternative option of life sentence is thus unquestionably excluded in this case and death remains the only punishment that can be given to him," the judges said as they dismissed Kasab's appeal against his conviction and the death sentence that had been upheld by Bombay High Court in February last year.

"We can even say that every single reason that this court might have assigned for confirming a death sentence in the past is to be found in this case in a more magnified way," the court said. "The attack was aimed at India and Indians. It was by foreign nationals. People were killed for no other reason than they were Indians. In case of foreigners, they were killed because their killing on Indian soil would embarrass India."

While upholding the death penalty for Kasab, the court also maintained the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, the two Indians who were accused of helping plan the attack. "We are in full agreement with the reasons assigned by the trial court and the high court for acquitting the two accused of all the charges. The view taken by the trial court and the high court is not only correct but on the facts of the case, that is the only possible view," said the court, dismissing the appeal of the Maharashtra government against their acquittal.

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