Union Home Secretary GK Pillai has said that the lone terrorist caught alive in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, can be sent to the gallows this year itself, if he does not petition against the sentencing in High Court, according to CNN-IBN.
On being asked about the status of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru's mercy petition, Pillai said, "It is with the government for consideration."
The death sentence given to Ajmal Amir Kasab may take years to be executed as the lone captured terrorist of Mumbai attacks could be 30th in the list of prisoners who are waiting to be sent to the gallows.
The order by judge ML Tahaliyani is the first step of a long process which will include appeals before higher courts and most importantly, if he exercises his right, a clemency petition before the President.
Justice Tahaliyani will send his judgement to the Bombay High Court for ratification under Section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The orders of a lower court are generally challenged in a higher court by either of the parties but in cases of death sentences, the orders are mandated to be confirmed by the High Court.
Once before the Bombay High Court, all the evidence will again be examined by it. The High Court will then decide whether to uphold the decision or to convert it to a less harsher punishment.
Even if the High Court upholds the death sentence given by the special court, Kasab can challenge it in the Supreme Court. The apex court will again look at all the aspects of previous judgements, evidence, developments and arguments and give its final verdict.
If the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty, Kasab can file a mercy petition before the President under Article 72 of the Indian constitution.