It was another dramatic day in the special court inside Arthur Road jail, where the 26/11 trial is being conducted.
“Kisi ke dimaag mein aisa hain ki main sazaa kam karne ke liye aisa kar raha hoon toh aap likh dijiye, court chahe toh mujhe phaasi de sakta hain. (If anybody thinks I’m pleading guilty to be awarded a lighter punishment, then please note: the court can hang me if it wants.),” Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab (21) told special judge M.L. Taheliyani on Wednesday.
Standing in the dock, unfazed, Kasab said this twice when the judge quizzed him to determine if his admission of guilt was voluntary and whether he understood the consequences of his statement.
Kasab told Judge Tahilyani that he had not made the confession seeking any mercy or to escape death penalty.
“Whatever I have done, I have done in this world. It would be better to be punished in this world. It would be better than God’s punishment. That’s why I have pleaded guilty,” Kasab said, adding he was under no pressure to confess.
Kasab’s lawyer Abbas Kazmi had alleged that his statement on Monday was a result of systematic mental torture by the police, but Kasab flatly denied these allegations made bv his lawayer.
Kazmi had argued that the police have manipulated Kasab. “They [the police] kept telling him nothing could go in his favour and he should admit his guilt before the court,” Kazmi had told court.
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said Kasab’s admission of guilt was a ploy to safeguard his bosses in Pakistan, where the trial against the 26/11 conspirators is scheduled to start soon.
However, when the judge disagreed with Nikam’s “logical conclusion”, he requested that the court accept Kasab’s statement, but continue with the trial and use it at an appropriate time.
The court is expected to take a decision on Thursday on whether it will accept Kasab’s admission of guilt.
(With PTI inputs)