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Kasab refuses to appear via video link before HC

October 20, 2010 17:47 IST
Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving 26/11 gunman, continued to throw tantrums before the Bombay high court which is hearing arguments on confirmation of death sentence awarded to him in the Mumbai terror attacks case. A day after spitting on the camera after an argument with prison guards and demanding that he should be physically produced in the court, Kasab on Wednesday refused to appear via video link before the HC.

Soon after the proceedings began at 11 am, a jail authority told a division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R V More that Kasab refused to attend the court. Kasab, awarded death penalty by a trial court on May 6 for killing 166 people in the 26/11 attacks, is lodged at the high-security Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai.

The convicted terrorist, who has been attending the high court proceeding via videoconference, demanded on Tuesday that he should be allowed to physically appear in court and walked away in a huff after spitting at the webcam.

Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam continued with his arguments on the confirmation of Kasab's death sentence for the third day in a row. Enumerating the terror unleashed by Kasab and his slain terrorist partner Abu Ismael at Cama Hospital, Nikam submitted before the court statements of police officials including Additional Commissioner of Police Sadanand Date, who were engaged in a cross-fire with the duo.

Lauding the presence of mind of nurses at the hospital who closed the gates of several floors thus prohibiting the terrorists from entering, Justice Desai said, "They did a good job or else there would have been more damage."

In another development, Kasab's lawyer Amin Solkar brought to the attention of the court that he was not allowed to meet his client on Tuesday on the ground that he had come after the closing hours of the prison. The court said it would pass an order directing the jail authorities to permit Solkar to meet Kasab at any time.

After hearing the arguments on confirmation of death penalty, the HC will hear the petition filed by Kasab challenging his conviction and then the state's appeal against the acquittal of two other Indian national accused, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed.
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