The Hyderabad Deccan English Daily

Ajmal Kasab's mercy plea rejected by Home Ministry

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IBNS): India's home ministry on Tuesday rejected the mercy plea of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist in the 26/11 attack in Mumbai who has been sentenced to death by all Indian courts.

Any clemency in the death sentence of Kasab can now be granted only by the President of India.

The Home Ministry has sent its recommendation to the President Pranab Mukherjee who had been approached by Kasab last month for commutation of his death sentence after it was upheld by the Supreme Court on Aug 29.

So it remains to be seen what decision Pranab Mukherjee takes in the case.

On Aug 29, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Kasab pronounced by a trial court in 2010, dismissing his plea for commuting the capital punishment to a life sentence in the Nov 2008 attack in Mumbai.

Kasab wanted his death sentence pronounced by a trial court to be reversed.

He had appealed to the Bombay High Court first which upheld the trial court order in October last year and this August the Supreme Court also upheld the trial court order of May 2010.

The apex court bench comprising of justice Aftab Alam and justice CK Prasad passing the verdict said "we are left with no option, but to uphold the sentence."

Special Public Prosecutor in the case Ujjwal Nikam has welcomed the home ministry decision.

Kasab has argued that he was denied free and fair trial and he was not part of a larger conspiracy of engaging into a war against a nation.

Kasab has been lodged in a Mumbai jail since being captured following the Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead and over 300 injured.

He had been convicted and sentenced to death by a trial court court in Mumbai and later by the Bombay High Court in February last year.

Kasab was one of the ten Pakistan-based militants who launched coordinated strikes in vital places of India's financial capital including two luxury hotels, a hospital, a Jewish centre and a railway station on Nov 26, 2008.



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