The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of 26/11 Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab (24) and said it would hear his appeal even though many people felt it should be “rejected.”
A special bench of Justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad said ‘due process of law’ would be followed and allowed Kasab to amend his appeal. The court also complimented senior counsel Raju Ramachandran for agreeing to appear as amicus curiae and represent Kasab.
“In our country, many people are of the view that the appeal should be rejected (outright) and should not be heard at all but we are happy that you have decided to assist the court as amicus,” the bench told Ramachandran. It said the court would hear the matter at length “as the rule of law is supreme in the country.”
Kasab has challenged the Bombay High Court judgment upholding the trial court’s verdict sentencing him to death. In his plea, Kasab claimed he was brainwashed like a “robot” into committing the heinous crime in the name of “God” and that he didn’t deserve capital punishment due to his young age.
“Many people think your man (Kasab) doesn’t deserve yet another appeal. But it’s the demand of our judicial system,” the bench told Ramachandran as the matter came up for hearing. Speaking for the bench, Justice Alam further observed: “Our court's system may not be perfect, but they are the best to maintain the rule of law… we have to uphold the due process.”
Agreeing with the court’s view, Maharashtra government’s counsel Gopal Subramanium said despite the magnitude of the attack, due process of law has to be maintained and the matter should be dealt with expeditiously. The bench fixed January 31 for further hearing.