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Feb 21, 2011 at 09:23am IST

HC to decide on Kasab's death penalty today

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court is expected to decide on Monday whether to uphold the death sentence awarded to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for his involvement in the 26/11 case.

A division bench in the court room number 49 of the High Court, which has been conducting the 26/11 proceedings, is all set to give out its verdict after over three months of hearings on daily basis.

It will be Kasab's fourth appearance via video-conferencing before the High Court and each of his previous appearances from the Aurhtur Road jail were dramatic.

On the first hearing on October 18, Kasab appeared to be moody but keen. He even told the court that he wanted to attend the hearings in person.

On the second day of the hearing he threw tantrums by picking up an argument with jail guards and spitting at the web camera.

On third day, Kasab attended the hearing via video conferencing for merely half an hour, after which, he had not attended any proceedings.

Earlier too during the trial court proceedings Kasab was infamous for his mood swings and changing stance.

Despite confessing before a magistrate, Kasab tried changing his stand as many as three times.

Finally he told the court that he was a Bollywood aspirant who had traveled in Smajhauta Express and was arrested in a fake encounter.

While Kasab enacted a drama, the evidence against him was just too powerful, which got him the death penalty in the session court and the prosecution is confident that the High Court will uphold the order.

"We argued for the death penalty because the atrocities committed by Kasab are in a planned manner. This is a rarest of the rare case and there are no mitigating circumstances. Hence we prayed that the death penalty be confirmed," said Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam.

They can't argue against the evidence and so the defence in this case is left with just one point to make.

"If he is dies, he will be made into a martyr and finally his aim will be achieved. If he lives then he will rot in the jails," said defence lawyer Amin Solkar.

Apart from Kasab, the court will also be giving its order on the appeal filed by Maharashtra government challenging the acquittal of LeT suspects Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed who were charged with providing maps of targets to terrorists.

Kasab has been sentenced to death for attacking Mumbai on November 26, 2008 along with nine other Pakistani terrorists and killing 166 people. He was found guilty of 80 offences, including waging war against the nation, which is punishable with the death penalty.

Special Judge ML Tahaliyani on May 6, 2010 gave 22-year old Kasab death sentence on five counts of murder, conspiracy to murder, waging war against the country, abetting murder and indulging in terrorist activities.

Kasab was also awarded life imprisonment on five other counts, which included attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and violation of the Explosive Substances Act.

While convicting him on June 3, the judge had ruled that Kasab was guilty of directly killing seven people and a total of 59 with associate Abu Ismail, who was shot dead after running into a police picket at Girgaun Chowpatty early on November 27 - shortly after the terror attack began in Mumbai on November 26 night.

His conviction was based on CCTV footage showing him striding across the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with an AK-47 and a backpack.

The 60-hour audacious attack began on the night of November 26, 2008 and went on till the afternoon of November 29. Only Kasab was captured alive while the other nine terrorists were killed in the gunfight with security forces.

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