Kasab pleads against death penalty

New Delhi: Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab facing death penalty for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack claimed in the Supreme Court that he was brainwashed like a "robot" into committing the heinous crime in the name of "God" and that he does not deserve capital punishment owing to his young age.

Though at the outset claiming innocence, Kasab posed a rider that even assuming he was guilty, death penalty cannot be awarded to him as he was brainwashed into committing the crime and was not beyond reform owing to his young age.

In his special leave petition challenging the death penalty, Kasab through counsel Gaurav Agrawal claimed that he was innocent and his so-called confessional statement had no evidentiary value as there was no corroboration.

The 24-year-old lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai carnage that left 166 persons dead submitted that he had retracted the disclosure statements, but the same was relied upon by the trial court and the high court for handing down the death penalty.

"The High Court ought to have held that even if the petitioner was guilty for the offences alleged this wasn`t a fit case for imposing death sentence on the petitioner inter-alia for the reason that the petitioner`s mind was completely brainwashed by the other co-accused.

"He was acting like a robot having been made to believe that he was acting in the name of God when he was allegedly told to commit the aforesaid offences," the appeal said.