HC rejects defence plea to interview Kasab alone | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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HC rejects defence plea to interview Kasab alone

The lawyers defending Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab will not be able to interview him without the presence of the jail staff.

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2010 00:29 IST
HT Correspondent

The lawyers defending Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab will not be able to interview him without the presence of the jail staff.

The Bombay High Court rejected the plea made by defence lawyers Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah to allow them to interview Kasab, keeping jail officers beyond an audible distance.

The bench observed that security and national interest couldn’t be compromised. The bench also refused to enter into the issue of the threat perception — to both, Kasab himself and others around him — expressed by the police, saying the high court cannot question their perception.

The lawyers alleged that Kasab refused to answer any of their queries in their presence. They had also alleged that an Intelligence Bureau officer was present during one of their meetings held earlier.

Later in the day, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice RV More admitted Kasab's plea challenging his conviction for his involvement in November 26, 2008 strike.

The strike, which went on for three days, claimed 166 lives. The appeal challenging the conviction will be heard along with the confirmation of death sentence awarded by a special court on May 6. The court will decide on whether the prosecution or defence will open the arguments on October 6.

Special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam, citing provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, said the defence should open arguments in support of the appeal. Solkar said the state should argue first on the confirmation of the death sentence and he will follow.

The bench also felt the prosecution should open the arguments pointing to certain judgements of the apex court.

Nikam said the appeal challenging the death sentence should be decided first because the question of hearing and deciding the confirmation of the death sentence would come up only if the appeal fails.

The court may not require hearing the confirmation case, in case it allows the appeal, and acquits the accused or imposes lesser punishment, Nikam said.