The Bombay High Court on Thursday admitted the Maharashtra government’s appeal against the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the 26/11 terror attack case.
The appeal will be heard on August 30, along with the case for confirmation of Ajmal Kasab’s death sentence and his appeal against it.
Lawyers Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah, appointed to argue on behalf of the Lashkar operative, had, on Thursday, sought time till September end to file the appeal. A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Vijaya Tahilramani, however, granted them time only until August 30.
The court also issued warrants against Fahim and Sabauddin, arrested on charges of providing local support for the attack — in accordance with Section 390 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Under this, acquitted accused are arrested in order to ensure their presence while the appeal against their acquittal is pending.
Accordingly, both Fahim and Sabauddin will be arrested and produced before the trial court. Currently, they are lodged in Uttar Pradesh prisons in the Rampur CRPF recruitment camp attacks case.
On May 6, 2010, special court of judge M.L. Tahaliyani convicted Kasab on 80 charges including murdering 166 persons, conspiracy to maim innocents, waging war against the nation, conspiring to wage war against the nation and committing terrorist acts.
Kasab was part of the 10-member Lashkar-e-Tayyeba team, which came from Karachi using the sea route and wreaked havoc in the city for nearly 60 hours beginning November 26, 2008.
On Thursday, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam argued that the court had not considered Kasab’s statements incriminating Fahim and Sabauddin.
Kasab had stated that Fahim had carried out reconnaissance of important city locations on the instructions of Lashkar handlers Abu Cafa and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
He then handed over the maps to Sabauddin. Nikam argued that though the trial court accepted Kasab’s confession, it had not taken into account the part incriminating the duo.