By Kanu Sarda, IANS,
New Delhi : The Bombay High Court could take 253 days (8 months, 13 days) to confirm the death penalty given to 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, a study of past such cases has revealed.
A study of hundreds of judgements of the Bombay High Court, especially in the last 17 years, reveals that the average disposal time per case comes to 253 days.
As per the procedure, every death penalty awarded by a sessions court has to be confirmed by the state high court.
The state government has to formally approach the high court for confirmation of the sentence.
“The Bombay High Court has rejected the death penalty in 52 percent of the cases and only in 48 percent cases confirmed the sentence,” according to advocate K.V. Dhananjay, who has done the study along with a battery of other lawyers.
“Given the fact that Kasab has been sentenced to four distinct death penalties, from the statistical perspective, the possibility of the high court rejecting all four sentences is too remote and extremely unlikely. At least two death sentences are likely to be confirmed,” Dhananjay, who practices in the Supreme Court, told IANS.
“It is most likely that the Bombay High Court would stay the confirmation order of the death sentence for a period, generally of eight weeks, to allow the convict to appeal to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution,” Dhananjay added.
In case Kasab appeals, the Bombay High Court will combine the two cases – confirmation of death sentence and his appeal – to avoid diverse conclusions.
“The shortest time taken by the Bombay High Court in disposing of a confirmation case stands at 76 days, and the longest at 469 days. Accordingly, even if his appeals are heard on priority basis, the possibility of four distinct confirmation cases being disposed of in less than 253 days looks very remote,” added Dhananjay.
Another roadblock in hanging Kasab will come if the gunman appeals to the Supreme Court against the high court ruling and then files a clemency petition before the president.
“A clemency petition to the president is required to be made in respect of each death sentence. Accordingly, if Kasab wishes to seek pardon from the president, he would be required to submit four distinct clemency petitions,” said Dhananjay.
Kasab was last Thursday sentenced to death for his role in the 26/11 carnage by a special court in Mumbai. The Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attack, which left 166 people dead and 244 injured, was carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists, including Kasab.