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HC to fix date for verdict in Kasab case

Mumbai: The case relating to confirmation of death sentence awarded to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab for his role in 26/11 terror attacks is in its final stages with the Bombay High Court likely to fix Monday the date for delivering the verdict.

On January 7, arguments concluded in the case following which Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More reserved order and kept the matter for directions on February 7.

The judges are likely to pronounce the date for the verdict when case comes up today, High Court sources said.

Along with the verdict on confirmation of death penalty, the Hight Court would also give judgement on an appeal filed by Kasab against his conviction and also on the appeal filed by Maharashtra Government against acquittal of co-accused Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the same case.

Arguments on these matters began on October 17 last and were heard on a day-to-day basis by the court except for brief periods during Diwali and Christmas holidays. For the first time, a video conference link was put up in the Court for hearing appeals. Cameras were installed in court room no 49 to enable Kasab hear proceedings from jail.

Justifying death penalty to Kasab, Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam displayed photographs and CDs showing him in terror acts and questioned the trial court`s order which accepted Kasab`s confession partially, saying it should be considered in toto. Defence lawyer Amin Solkar argued that Kasab was not a terrorist and said photos were morphed.

The CDs were not clear and showed some other person looking similar to Kasab. He alleged that police encounter at Girgaum was stage-managed to implicate Kasab and denied the gunman had killed policemen Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamate and Vijay Salaskar.

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