The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected Ajmal Amir Kasab’s mercy petition and forwarded it to President Pranab Mukherjee for further action.
“The Home Ministry has only processed the petition and submitted it to the President for decision,” an official statement said. However, a senior MHA official said it “has been rejected… we have sent our recommendation to the President.” The mercy plea of the Pakistani terrorist was dismissed as he waged war against India and killed innocent citizens, the official added.
Now, the President will take a final decision on the plea of the lone surviving gunman of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
12 petitions pending
Currently, 12 mercy petitions of 17 death convicts are pending with the government. Of these, 11 including that of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack case, are with the President.
Kasab, now lodged in Mumbai’s high-security Arthur Road jail, submitted his mercy plea to the Maharashtra government last month after the Supreme Court had in August confirmed the death penalty awarded to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, first by a trial court and later upheld by the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra government rejected Kasab’s plea and forwarded it to the MHA.
After a nearly four-year-long legal battle, the Supreme Court rejected Kasab’s contention that he was just a tool in the hands of the LeT.
“We are unable to accept the submission that the appellant was a mere tool in the hands of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The primary and foremost offence by the accused was waging war against India...in the facts of the case, the death penalty is the only sentence that can be given to the appellant. He kills without the slightest twinge of conscience. Unfortunately, he is wholly remorseless and any feeling of pity is unknown to him,” the judgment said.