New Delhi, Nov 20: Is India serious enough to hang 26/11 Mumbai terror
attack convict Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab? The answer seems to be yes.
India on Monday, Nov 19 voted against a United Nations General Assembly
(UNGA) draft resolution which called for abolishing the death penalty.
India's contention is that every nation had the "sovereign right" to determine
its own legal system. India was among the 39 countries that voted against a
UNGA draft resolution. An Indian delegate participating in the vote added that
the practice of death penalty was exercised only on the "rarest of occasions" in India and the country's laws contained provisions for suspending the death penalty in the cases of pregnant women. The delegate further said that in India death sentences must be confirmed by a superior court and the accused had the right to appeal to a superior court or the Supreme Court. Moreover, Supreme Court had uphold the death penalty of Pakistani national Kasab, the sole surviving gunman of the 2008 attacks on Mumbai. In October, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also rejected mercy plea of Kasab. Earlier, the Maharashtra home department had also recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to reject Kasab's mercy plea. Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam has welcomed the development, saying "President has to study the recommendation of MHA. It's a positive phase in the case. It's a good development." K Unnikrishnan, NSG martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's father, said, "I am happy that we did not make a mistake. I am very sure that President will take a decision very soon." Kasab had sent his mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee in September. Kasab's mercy plea was filed through the Arthur road jailor to the President's office. Kasab has been sentenced to death in the 26/11 case. If executed, Kasab will be the 52nd person to be hanged in India since independence. Ahead of him are people such as Mohammed Afzal Guru, the terrorist condemned to the gallows for his involvement in the December 2001 Parliament attack case, awaiting the President's decision on his mercy petition.