Prosecution demands death penalty for Kasab


- dEsPeraTe cRaNky -
Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Tuesday argued the maximum possible sentence Kasab attracts for the offence of waging war against India, murder of many and acts of terror.

Nikam formally demanded the death penalty by hanging for Kasab in court today. Court-appointed defence lawyer for Kasab, K P Pawar, is now expected to seek leniency for his client.

Seeking death for the Pakistani terrorist, Nikam called Kasab a killing machine manufactured in Pakistan. The prosecution cited eight aggravating circumstances against Kasab.

On Monday, Pawar tried to ask the court for a few days to prepare himself for the sentencing arguments, but special Judge M L Tahaliyani refused. The judge told Kasab that the hearing for the quantum of sentence would take place on Tuesday as he asked the police escorts to take him back barefoot to his cell at the end of the two-and-half hour long conviction ruling. Kasab who displayed no emotion, allowed himself to be escorted away in silence.

After the hearing on the quantum, however, the court may not immediately pronounce the sentence on Tuesday itself. Once the sentence is delivered — be it the capital punishment which a proven terror act and waging of war will well attract or anything lesser — the action will then move to the Bombay high court for confirmation or appeal.

A death sentence given by a trial court must be confirmed by a high court before it can be effected under the law. And then from there it could go into appeal. Hence, if death is what Kasab's fate will be in a couple of days, the legal fight can be expected to continue all the way to the Supreme Court and then to the President.

But, if Kasab gets on the death row in India, he will be in a long queue of 52 convicts who face the noose and who have sought a pardon from the President. The prosecutor, victorious with Kasab's conviction, claimed immediately that the acquittal of the other two Indian co-accused would be challenged. But the state government, say sources, doesn't appear too keen on that.