Seeking to delay the 26/11 trial, Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday sought to call Maharashtra minister Narayan Rane as a defence witness but the special court rejected the plea terming his request as “irrelevant” and concluded the recording of evidence.
Special court judge M L Tahaliyani adjourned the case to February 20 for arguments.
Kasab made the request through his lawyer K P Pawar, who pleaded that Revenue Minister Rane be examined as defence witness as he had made a public statement that some local elements had helped the 26/11 terrorists. Soon after the carnage, Mr. Rane said he knew some politicians who had provided monetary and logistical support to terrorists.
However, when Solapur-based Purushottam Barde filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking an inquiry into his statement, M. Rane, in an affidavit said that he had simply referred to N.N. Vohra committee’s report on criminalisation of politics and not talked about individuals.
Pawar contended that since Kasab was charged with participating in the conspiracy, Mr. Rane’s evidence would throw light on people involved in planning and executing the attacks.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam opposed Kasab’s plea saying Rane’s deposition was not relevant to the case.
The judge felt that Mr. Rane’s deposition would not help Kasab in any way and would be a waste of time.