New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, saying that waging war against the country was the primary and foremost offence committed by the Pakistani terrorist.
The bench rejected his contention that he was not given a free and fair trial in the case.
The bench also observed that the failure of government to provide him an advocate at the pre-trial stage did not vitiate trial court proceedings against him.
It also held that the confessional statement given by Kasab, which he retracted during trial, was very much voluntary except a very small portion.
Kasab along with nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed in south Mumbai on November 26, 2008 night after travelling from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various city landmarks, in which 166 people were killed.
While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists in his group were killed by security forces during the counter-terror operations.
The apex court also upheld the acquittal of two Indians, who were alleged to be co-conspirators in the Mumbai terror attack case.
The trial court and Bombay high court had also given clean chit to Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the case.
The bench held that evidence showed that the conspiracy and planning of the 26/11 carnage was hatched in Pakistan.
Reacting to the verdict, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed by the apex court as amicus curiae to defend Kasab, said, "I bow down to the apex court verdict."
The apex court passed the order on the petition filed by Kasab challenging Bombay high court's verdict upholding the trial court's judgement convicting him and awarding death sentence in the 26/11 case.
The bench had reserved its verdict on April 25 after a marathon hearing, spanning over two-and-a-half months of arguments by the prosecution and defence counsel in the case.
Kasab, during arguments in the apex court, had contended that he was not given a free and fair trial and that he was not part of any larger conspiracy for waging war against India.
He had told the bench that his right against self-incrimination as well as his right to get himself adequately represented by a counsel to defend himself in the case had been violated during the trial.