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Kasab refuses to appear via video link

Mumbai: The tantrum of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab continued in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday after he refused to appear via video link before the court, which is hearing arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to him for his role in the 26/11 attacks.

Soon after the proceedings began at 11 a.m. today, a jail authority told a division bench comprising Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More that Kasab has refused to attend the court.

Kasab had on Tuesday demanded that he should be allowed to be physically present in the court.

The Bombay High Court began Kasab’s hearing from October 18 in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

State’s counsel Ujjwal Nikam opened arguments on the confirmation of death sentence awarded to Kasab.

Though a confirmation case requires the convict to be present during the hearings, but due to security reasons and as per the directive of the earlier court order, Kasab was to be produced through video conferencing from his high-security prison cell in Arthur Road jail.

The court is also likely to hear the state’s plea against the acquittal of Kasab’s co-accused Faheem Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed, who were acquitted for lack of evidence

A Mumbai Special Court on May 6 sentenced Kasab to death on four counts.

Judge M L Tahiliyani awarded death sentence for Kasab on-waging war against India, murder, conspiracy to murder, and participating in an act of terror under Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA).

Judge Tahaliyani felt that Kasab’s crime fell under the judicial definition of ‘rarest of rare’.

Kasab, who is the 52nd prisoner on death row in India, was also awarded life term on five other counts.

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