The convict in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, on Tuesday pleaded with the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who has been appointed amicus curiae to defend Kasab, told a Bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam that he was not part of the larger conspiracy hatched to wage war against India.
Stressing Kasab's age, counsel pleaded for a lenient approach as he was drawn into this vortex by exploitation of religious faith and false ideology.
“The choice before the Supreme Court is life [imprisonment] and irreversible death penalty. It would not be prudent to affirm the extreme penalty,” he said.
“Even if I am [Kasab] guilty under Section 302 [punishment for murder] of the IPC and other provisions, it cannot be said I was part of the larger conspiracy of waging war.”
Maintaining that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against the gunman beyond doubt, Mr. Ramachandran said his right against self-incrimination and his right to be represented by counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial.
On October 10 last, the court stayed the death sentence against the 24-year-old Kasab, lone surviving terrorist involved in the November 2008 attacks.
In his special leave petition challenging the Bombay High Court judgment, Kasab claimed he was brainwashed like a “robot” into committing the heinous crime in the name of “God” and that he did not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age.
Kasab, lodged in the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai, filed the SLP through jail authorities.