India Insight

Is the Kasab verdict a victory for India’s judiciary?

May 3, 2010

Almost a year and a half since the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the three-day rampage, has been sentenced to death by a special court.

“He shall be hanged by the neck till he is dead,” Judge M.L. Tahilyani said at a special court as Kasab sat with his head bowed, occasionally wiping his eyes with the back of his hand and then covering his ears with his fingers.

The judgement was hardly surprising given the accused pleaded guilty during the course of the trial (although he later retracted) and more than 650 witnesses testified against Kasab, backed by video grabs of him walking around the attack site with an AK-47 rifle in hand.

Add to that intense public pressure for awarding the harshest punishment possible and the fact he is from Pakistan, India’s traditional enemy, the verdict was more or less a given.INDIA

The speedy trial, hurried by public pressure and overwhelming evidence, is also a victory for India’s notoriously slow judicial system.

The verdict came within a year after court proceedings against Kasab, compared to a 14-year trial in the 1993 serial blasts case in the same city.

Surprisingly, two Indian nationals accused of being members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and of conducting reconnaissance in Mumbai before the attack, were acquitted of all charges because the judge felt the evidence against them was weak.

But this only shows the fairness of India’s judicial system, some commentators say.

But a few pertinent questions remain -
1. Were the security agencies able to extract enough information from Kasab regarding his handlers during custody?
2. The verdict is a direct indictment of Pakistani involvement in the attacks, so will it have any bearing on the country’s ties with Pakistan?
3. Will the judgement finally provide much-needed closure for families of the victims, and for the country?
4. Should India now train its guns on the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, Kasab’s alleged handlers in Pakistan, even though the prime ministers of the two countries asked their officials to take steps to normalise relations just days ago?

Comments
6 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I think most of the victims family will be relieved and the Death Penalty is appropriate if it has been proved that he is the man who killed so many innocents, and the other two being acquitted shows that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges and some innocents have become the fallout of this tragedy, i wonder if the prosecution will appeal to the higher courts for the two acquitted people or is it the they have been wrongly framed.

we have lost some very honest and secular police officers in this carnage who where getting into the roots of other blasts carried in the name of muslims but proving to be done by a Hindu terror organization called Abhinav Bharath.

My condolences to all the brave citizens of India who have lost their near and loved ones. We should get to the people who have planned this and bring them all to justice.

Posted by Ismailtaimur | Report as abusive
 

When I see the video footage, I feel that even the death penalty is very small for such a heinous act of crime. I wish there were even stricter punishments for this. These guys came only to die. Giving them a simple death will not teach any lessons to such perpetrators. My comments might be coming out from an emotional angle but I cannot tolerate these cannibals any more. I wish we have a strong foreign policy to deal with Pakistan. Almost a year and half after the attacks, the LET is still operating inside Pakistan peacefully and we have not even proceeded an inch in teaching them a lesson. What are we afraid of. If it was Israel or China instead of India, Pakistan would already have been bombed. What is the credential of such a puppet givt inside Pakistan who washes its hands off by terming the LET perpetrators as merely non-state actors and we still trust them to bring Mumbai terror attacks criminals to justice. How long are we going to dream of Pakistan assisting us in fighting with terror. Are we not self sufficient to deal with these terror outfits on our own?????

Posted by BindusarSahoo | Report as abusive
 

Someone should sue the local state and city governments, the central home ministry for sleeping over the repeated warnings of terrorists finding their way through the sea and allowing the innocent people to be targeted by the terrorists.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Given the fact that the police completely botched the case of the Indians accused of plotting terror strikes I would not give 10/10 to the way the most high profile case of the century was handled.
Albeit the Kasab trial was remarkably fast tracked, but there is no excuse for letting off the co-accused simply because the evidence did not match up. We are not dealing with a case of pick pocketing at CST. Time and again we are caught red faced simply because our police’s response time to a high alert scenario.

Posted by Rituparna | Report as abusive
 

Well indeed its a victory for indian judicial system for taking a decent time to announce the verdict.
But the major area of concern at this point should be that what our intelligence agencies have extracted from this happening.Pronouncing him guilty is fine but what about further attacks.Are they enough prepared to stop them?
Giving a verdict has no meaning if his conviction has provided us with no essential information about the roots of such henious crimes.Just think of it what’s the use of arresting him and keeping him alive amidst the much controversial environment just to hang him in the end without getting to know the actual people behind the plannning.

Posted by wanderlust | Report as abusive
 

@But a few pertinent questions remain -

1. Were the security agencies able to extract enough information from Kasab regarding his handlers during custody?
——We would not know if they extracted info nor should we be told about the sensitive info. My answer to the question is YES.

2. The guilty verdict is a direct indictment of Pakistani involvement in the attacks, so will it have any bearing on the country’s ties with Pakistan?
—NO.

3. Will the judgement finally provide much-needed closure for families of the victims, and for the country?
–It does provide some level of comfort but those who know better will be expecting to snatch the gun (LeT) not just one bullet, i.e., Kasab.

4. Should India now train its guns on the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, Kasab’s alleged handlers in Pakistan, even though the prime ministers of the two countries asked their officials to take steps to normalise relations just days ago?
—These 2 are different things. For normalization Pakistan need to take action against these terrorists operating from Pakistan. If Pakistan does not understand this, then this is not a step towards normalization.

Kasab came to India to be killed in the name of Jihad and he will be given what he came here for. For him it will not matter, for the victims’ families it will.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

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