While the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai terror attacks, Ajmal Kasab, retracting his confessional statement before the special court trying the 26/11 case is a stumbling block, legal experts are of the opinion that it will not be an insurmountable hurdle.
Legal experts say had Kasab not retracted his confession, it would have made the court's job much easier and it could have gone ahead with the sentencing directly. Now it will have to examine the circumstances under which the confession statement was made. The first and foremost point is whether the confession was judicial in nature.
In this case, the confession was made before the magistrate and hence it is judicial in nature. But this does not give the prosecution a blanket protection from having to explain under what circumstances the confession was made.
The prosecution will now have to explain to the court whether the confession was voluntary in nature or if it was forced upon the accused. Had Kasab not retracted his statements before the magistrate, the prosecution could have sought his immediate sentencing.
However, there is nothing for the prosecution to worry about, say experts. The statements of over 200 witnesses have been recorded all of which points to Kasab's guilt.