Kasab’s sentencing: Will it be life or death?

MUMBAI: A special court would today hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, who has been held guilty for the murder of 166 persons in the 26/11 terror strikes in the financial capital of the country.

The punishment for the offences committed by Kasab ranges from life imprisonment to death.

The court had yesterday held him guilty of various offences, including mass murders and waging war against the nation.

The prosecution, led by Ujjwal Nikam, is likely to demand death sentence for Kasab on the ground that he had committed heinous crime, while defence lawyer K P Pawar might demand a lighter sentence of life imprisonment or even less.

Kasab has a right to file an appeal in the Bombay high court against the verdict of the trial court. At the same time the trial court judgement would be referred to the high court for confirmation.

The Maharashtra government has also a right to appeal against the verdict which has acquitted Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed on charges of participating in the conspiracy and providing hand drawn maps of targets to Lashkar-e-Taiba to execute the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said he would recommend to the government to file an appeal against the verdict acquitting the duo as enough circumstantial evidence was produced in the court against them.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan said the government would go through the judgement and consult the home minister before deciding on filing an appeal.

Kasab would continue to be lodged in the bullet and bomb proof cell in the central prison at Arthur Road until his appeal is heard and disposed of, legal sources said.

Normally, after conviction, the accused are shifted to other jails of Maharashtra but in this case Kasab would be put up in the same prison in view of special security measures and bomb proof cell built for him, court sources said.

Meanwhile, Faheem and Sabauddin, who were acquitted by the court yesterday, might be handed over to Uttar Pradesh police by the crime branch here.

Both are wanted in a case of firing at a CRPF camp in Rampur. Additionally, Sabauddin is wanted in a case of murder of a scientist from Bangalore, crime branch sources told PTI.

Judge M L Tahaliyani, hearing the 26/11 terror case, had ordered their immediate release in view of their acquittal unless they are required in any other case. (PTI)

We would like to hear your comments below: