A top Home Ministry official said Kasab's mercy petition has been dismissed as he was involved in a grave crime of waging war against India that led to killing 166 people, including foreigners.
The 25-year-old Pakistani and nine other fellow Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists had landed in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 by sea from Karachi and had gone on a shooting spree at various places, carrying out the country's worst terror attack. While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists were killed by security forces.
Kasab's mercy petition was sent to the Home Ministry by the Maharashtra government last month after rejecting the plea.
A brief official release said, “The Home Ministry has only processed Kasab's mercy petition and submitted it to President for decision.”
After nearly a four-year-long legal battle, on August 29, the Supreme Court had confirmed the death penalty awarded to the LeT operative by the trial court and later upheld by the Bombay High Court. Upholding Kasab's conviction, the apex court had said he killed without “the slightest twinge of conscience”.
The Pakistani gunman is currently lodged in the bomb-proof and an egg-shaped cell at the high-security Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.
After the Home Ministry's recommendation, it is now left to President Pranab Mukherjee to take a final decision on Kasab's mercy plea.
There are more than a dozen mercy petitions pending before the President for final decision which include Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru.
Ujjwal Nikam welcomes Home Ministry's decision to reject Kasab's plea
Ujjwal Nikam, Special Public Prosecutor in the 26/11 case, today welcomed the decision of the Union Home Ministry to reject the mercy plea of the lone surviving terrorist in the Mumbai terror attacks Ajmal Kasab.
"We have shown to the entire world that in a democratic country like India, we can complete trial against a terrorist within the shortest possible time by following the principles of natural justice and legal process", Nikam said.
"I would appeal to the President of India to take a decision on the mercy petition of Kasab before November 26, which shall mark four years of diabolic attacks unleashed upon India by terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). This would be a great homage to the victims," Nikam said.
The Home Ministry's rejection of the mercy plea would not be binding on the President and he would take an independent view in the matter, Nikam said.
In the process, however, the President will be required to give due weightage to the recommendation of the State and the Centre, Nikam added.
Earlier in the day the Home Ministry said it had rejected Kasab's mercy plea and forwarded its recommendation to the President for further action.
Ajmal Kasab had moved a mercy petition before the President after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence in the 26/11 case on August 29.
Kasab and nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed here on November 26, 2008 by sea from Karachi and unleashed an orgy of violence killing 166 people, including foreigners.
While Kasab was captured alive, the other terrorists were killed by security forces.
Cangressi netas are trying to kill time, till elections.
As a country we people are expert in wasting time. The systems are very frustrating. A clear cut case had to go through first to a court, then high court and then supreme court and then mercy plea will be heard by state govt., then home ministry and then president. Everyone will take their own sweat time to go throught the case and arrive at a decision. I don't understand why Kasab's lawyer had appealed for mercy. The culture of red tapes and delay has to change if we really want to progress and provide justice to mango people.