Kasab absent for court proceedings Wednesday

Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab Wednesday remained absent for the proceedings of the Bombay High Court where arguments on confirming his death sentence are going on. He attended the first two days of the proceeding via video-camera in the Arthur Road Central Jail here.

‘The court has allowed him to decide whether or not to attend the proceedings of the court. Today (Wednesday) he decided to stay in his cell and did not ask to be taken down to the video camera,’ Kasab’s lawyer Farhana Shah said.

The Bombay High Court judges had earlier suggested that Kasab’s lawyers – Farhana Shah and Amin Solkar – meet him at the Arthur Road jail and explain to him the court proceedings in person.

Shah, however, complained that they have not been able to meet Kasab as they were not allowed to meet him after 6.30 p.m. ‘We are in the court till after 5 p.m. The jail is at an hour’s distance from the Bombay High Court and hence we have not been able to reach the jail on time,’ Shah said.

‘We have prayed to the court regarding the same. The court today has asked the Arthur Road Jail Superintendent Rajendra Damne to be present in the morning session of the court proceedings Thursday,’ Shah added.

Wednesday was the third day of the arguments on confirmation of Kasab’s death sentence before the Bombay High Court. On Monday, the 22-year-old sole surviving terrorist of the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks had presented a happy-go-lucky picture.

On Tuesday, he had demanded in Hindi that he wanted to attend the court proceedings in person, instead of on video-conferencing, which was declined by the judges on security grounds.

During the proceedings on the second day, Kasab had also attempted to get up and go away from the camera and jail officials complained to the court. On one occasion, he even spat at the camera.

On May 6, a special court had awarded to Kasab the death sentence, which has now come up for confirmation before the Bombay High Court in accordance with Indian laws.

Since Monday, government counsel Ujjwal Nikam has opened his arguments in the case for confirming the death sentence awarded to Kasab by Special Judge M.L. Tahaliyani May 6.

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