Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

26/11 Judgment

On 3/5/2010 special sessions judge M. L. Tahaliyani declared Ajmal Kasab guilty of 86 charges of 26/11 attack. Sentencing to follow later. Two other accused, Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed, were acquitted.
The judgment could have come early if the chargesheet against Ajmal Kasab was restricted to the crimes he committed instead of it being a chargesheet including all crimes connected to 26/11. Nine terrorists connected to 26/11 were dead, the conspirators were in Pakistan and Pakistan was not willing to hand over them to India. Having a chargesheet over 10,000 pages and examining witnesses not connected to Ajmal Kasab’s crimes prolonged the trial. There could have been separate chargesheets for different crimes of 26/11 attack.
Trials for terrorism and waging war against the state should be different from other trial. The state should not provide the lawyers. The accused should hire the lawyers themselves. If the accused are unable to hire lawyers trials should proceed without defence lawyers.
Sentencing should take place at the time of judgment. There is no need of further arguments about the quantum of punishment.
Phone tapping proved helpful during 26/11 attack.
Reporters covering the judgment had to pass three rings of security. They were in the court by 10.30 a.m. The judge came to the court at 12.10 p.m. Till 2.35 p.m. there was no idea what was going on in the court. As per reports reading of charges took time. Soon after 2.35 p.m. reporters came out and described what had happened.
Live telecast of judgments should be allowed. People will be able to watch of TV. It will save time spent on security arrangements. Reporters can have lunch on time.
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