Nine months after a special court in Mumbai handed out the death sentence to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, 24, for the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Monday confirmed the sentence.
The high court also upheld the acquittal of two Indians, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, accused of being part of the conspiracy, for lack of evidence.
The special court had awarded the death sentence to Kasab last May for the carnage that killed 166 people and injured 238.
"The brutality, perversity and cruelty exhibited by Kasab in committing multiple murders of innocent men, women, children, aged persons and policemen… makes this a grave case of extreme culpability," the high court said as Kasab smiled.
Kasab was one of 10 gunmen who travelled from Karachi to Mumbai by sea and attacked five vital spots in the city, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and laid siege to the city for 60 hours.
"He indulged in mindless killing of innocent people with a view to overawing the government of India, and achieving cessation of Indian territory (Kashmir)," the court said.
It was not clear whether Kasab wants to appeal against the high court order. "It will be clear only after we see him in prison," his lawyer Farhana Shah said.
"We will apprise him of his right to appeal against the verdict," Shah added.
The high court also issued a warning to potential perpetrators of terror attacks.
"We want those who are desirous of emulating him (Kasab) to know that courts do not take a kind view of such people," it said.
Survivors and family members of victims welcomed the verdict. Vaishali Ombale, daughter of sub-inspector Tukaram Ombale, who died trying to capture Kasab, said: "The Indian government should expedite the case and ensure that Kasab is hanged at the earliest."