Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab on Monday claimed he was not part of the 26/11 attacks conspiracy hatched in Pakistan by LeT and argued his confession recorded by a magistrate and plea of guilt made before the trial court should be discarded as they were contrary to each other.
The arguments were made by Kasab's lawyer Amin Solkar before justices Ranjana Desai and R V More of the Bombay High Court who are hearing confirmation of death sentence awarded to him by the trial court for his role in the 26/11 terror attacks.
The defence lawyer argued that there was no material to suggest that Kasab was part of the conspiracy relating to attacks on Hotel Taj Mahal, Hotel Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House. His role was confined only to attacks at Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus and in and around Cama Hospital.
"At the most, it can be said that Kasab had performed the role of a contract killer and could be held responsible for the death of persons at CST and in surrounding areas," Solkar argued.
The basic thrust of arguments by the defence lawyer was to minimise the role of Kasab in the conspiracy and aim at commuting his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Kasab had no role to play in the attacks on hotels Taj Mahal, Oberoi and Nariman House and there is no evidence to this effect, Solkar submitted.
Kasab did not appear on Monday on the screen put up in the court for the video conference link to enable him to hear arguments from jail.
Solkar said when an accused makes a confession it could result in conviction. Similarly, when a guilt plea is made before the court it should be considered like confession.
In this case, Kasab has made a confession as well as guilt plea. Both these confessions were contradictory to each other and should not be accepted because they create doubts as to which one should be believed, he argued.
Pointing out the contradictions in confession and guilt plea of Kasab, Solkar said Kasab had admitted before a magistrate that he had killed Amarsing Solanki, navigator of fishing trawler Kuber through which terrorists arrived in Mumbai by sea route. He also admitted to have killed police officer Tukaram Ombale in an encounter at Chowpatty.
However, in the guilt plea, Kasab denied having killed Solanki and Ombale. He had told the trial court that he was not aware who killed Solanki and that he had seen slain terrorist Shoaib coming out of boat's cabin with a knife smeared with blood and throwing it in the sea.