Supreme Court verdict against Kasab inevitable, says Khurshid

With the Supreme Court upholding the death sentence handed out to Ajmal Kasab, India asked Pakistan to punish all those, including its “state actors,” who were behind the Mumbai terror attacks and living freely in the neighbouring country.

“After today’s [Wednesday’s] verdict on Kasab, Pakistan should ensure that others involved in 26/11 living in that country are also punished. We have already taken up this matter with Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice… we will continue to do so till all guilty are punished. Whatever steps need to be taken, we will take them. Pakistan must punish all the guilty,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told journalists here.

India has given dossiers to Pakistan containing details of “state actors” and terrorists living on its soil who had orchestrated the Mumbai attacks. They include LeT founder Hafiz Sayeed and its commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and two ISI officers.

Asked whether the execution of Kasab would take time since he may file a mercy petition with the President, Mr. Shinde said: “If Ajmal Kasab files mercy plea, we will ensure that it is disposed of in minimum time.”

Later, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said Kasab had so far not filed any clemency plea.

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid termed the Supreme Court verdict “inevitable.” He rejected suggestions that there was inordinate delay and stated that a country governed by the rule of law could not mete out street justice. “I had seen the Bombay High Court judgment. It was a very, very complicated judgment for the judiciary to have given. They must have worked very hard on it. That’s been upheld by the Supreme Court. I think most people who do analysis of law would say this was an inevitable endorsement that would have come,” he told journalists here.

Asked whether the Congress-led government was “going slow” on terror, Mr. Khurshid said: “You have to go through the process of hearing every side and reflecting on what is being said and finally pronouncing the order. Being tough on terrorism does not necessarily mean you should destroy the rule of law.”

More In: National | News