The Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that Ajmal Kasab was given a fair trial to defend himself in the Mumbai 26/11 terror attack case. Amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the lone surviving gunman, had alleged that he was not given a fair trial.
Senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Maharashtra, also refuted Kasab's allegation that he was tortured or maltreated and said, “There has been no violation of his constitutional rights.”
Counsel told a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and C.K. Prasad that the arrest of Kasab proved crucial as he disclosed that the conspiracy was hatched in his country, Pakistan. “Had Kasab not been caught alive, it would not have been possible to know that outsiders were involved in the mayhem, and confusion would have percolated that it was done by insiders.”
Counsel said that among the 10 terrorists involved in the attacks, it was Kasab who caused the first casualty, killing the navigator of the Indian boat, Kuber, used by them on way to reach Mumbai. “Kasab, who was apprehended at Chawpathi the same night [November 26, 2008] made a disclosure that he beheaded the navigator.”
Mr. Subramaniam produced evidence to drive home the point that the death sentence awarded to Kasab was justified as the crime he committed was heinous and barbaric.
He argued that Kasab and the other terrorists involved in 26/11 were members of the banned terrorist organisation, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which hatched the conspiracy to attack the financial capital of India. In fact, Kasab had rubbed shoulders with its top leadership and masterminds including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. The 26/11 attacks were intended to be portrayed as attacks by Indian Muslims in order to provoke unrest in the country, counsel said.
On Monday, the amicus curiae said Kasab was not part of the larger conspiracy hatched to wage war against India, and pleaded for a lenient approach to him.
Arguments will continue on Thursday.