MUMBAI, Feb 21 � Nine months after he was handed down death penalty by the trial court, the Bombay High Court today upheld the sentence of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for the �brutal and diabolical� 26/11 Mumbai attacks aimed at �destabilising� the government, reports PTI.
The court, however, upheld the trial court�s acquittal of two alleged Indian co-conspirators Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed for want of corroborative evidence.
Showing no signs of remorse, 24-year-old Kasab, clad in a white kurta and sporting a beard came on the screen five minutes before the bench sat and was seen smiling in the Arthur Road jail.
�This court upholds your death sentence and you may appeal in Supreme Court,� Justice Ranjana Desai of the division bench also comprising Justice R V More told Kasab who appeared through video conference.
Dismissing an appeal filed by State Government against acquittal of Faheem and Sabauddin, the judges said, �We agree with the trial court that there is no corroborative evidence to prove their involvement. The evidence of witnesses are not credible and the main link is missing�.
The court held that Kasab�s crime fell under the rarest of rare category deserving capital punishment.
�It is rarest of the rare case and is an uncommon crime...There is no scope for reform or rehabilitation and a harsh penalty of death is required. Kasab has never shown any signs of remorse and we also have observed that he has not shown repentance whenever he appeared on video conference�, the bench remarked.
In its 1208-page judgement, the court also observed that Kasab was not influenced by anyone and that he had applied his own mind and voluntarily joined Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
Confirming the death penalty, the bench observed, �Kasab waged war against the Government of India pursuant to a conspiracy which was hatched in Pakistan, the object of which was to destabilise Government of India and weaken India�s economic might.�
�He indulged in mindless killings of people with a view to overawing Government of India and achieve cessation of a part of Indian territory. There was an attempt to create ill-will and disaffection between different religions so as to damage its secular fabric. They (terrorists) challenged the Indian Army and the State Police,� the bench observed.
�He (Kasab) has a scheming mind and it is concluded that he is a fidayeen attacker and solely responsible for seven murders, including that of ATS chief Hemant Karkare and police officers Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar�, the judges said.
The court noted that Kasab in his confessional statement made it clear that he wants more �fidayeens� like him to be created and proclaimed that he wanted to be a role model for others.