Kasab Is Entitled To A Fair Trial

I’ve been reading a lot of posts on the internet about why Mohammad Kasab should not be allowed to defend himself and why the government should not provide him with a defence lawyer…According to the authors of these posts, it is unpatriotic to allow a Pakistani terrorist to defend himself…I think it is unpatriotic not to allow him to get a fair trial even if he is a foreigner…Before you start crticizing me, I must state that I am not condoning Kasab’s heinous act or his lack of respect for the rights of the people he killed – I am as outraged by his actions as the people who think he should be hanged without a trial…I think all human beings (no matter what their crime) in a civilized society (and I’d like to think I live in a civilized society) have rights and a fair trial with an effective defence is a basic human right…What happens if an Indian citizen is accused of being a terrorist in a foreign country? Should we just let him face the music there or should we pressurize our government to do something? What is even more amazing is that a lot of people who believe that Kasab should be hanged without a trial also believe that the mudslinging against Narendra Modi should stop because he hasn’t been found guilty by a court of law for inciting and sustaining the Gujarat riots…Why is there a dichotomy in the thought process? What Narendra Modi has been accused of doing (and there is evidence) is no less heinous than what Kasab has done…So, why should the former be allowed to prove himself innocent in court and not the latter? Is it because Modi is an Indian? Or is it because he is more human than Kasab? Since Kasab’s guilt has been established without doubt, his lawyer can only plead for a lesser sentence…People are afraid that he will be set free if he is allowed a lawyer…If he is set free, then the problem is with our laws and the way investigative agencies gather evidence and not with the lawyer…If the laws of our land are watertight and the evidence sound, no defence lawyer will be able to get an acquittal for him…In our passion to see Kasab punished, we must not forget that India is a democratic country in which human rights are protected and even though terrorism (especially foreign) is a reality, it is not necessary to sacrifice essential fair trial standards to maintain security…Further, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified by India, clearly states that “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.” If India fails to provide Kasab with adequate legal support, her reputation as a democracy and protector of human rights would be hurt severly…

Democracy is built on a balance between human rights and government authority…Security and self preservation requires not only physical security but the maintainence of legal standards (checks and balances) which are needed to maintain the rule of law…Rule of law is the antithesis of terrorism and by holding Kasab accountable for his actions according to internationally recognized standards of fairness, our country can show the world that it is truly a democratic and fair country…Credibility is essential if India wants to fight terrorism because to do so, it needs the cooperation of other nations…

Giving in to the impulse to abandon human rights norms in times of fear and crisis is short-sighted and self-defeating…By not allowing Kasab the right to a fair trial, we would only help create a martyr and encourage other like minded people to become terrorists…

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11 thoughts on “Kasab Is Entitled To A Fair Trial

  1. There is no question that Kasab should be given a fair trial, as indeed every one should be. The only hypocrisy I see here is that some of our secularists who morally support this right of Kasab are not willing to extend the same to those who, in their view, are “communal”. They are always guilty the moment something comes to “light” or is deviously shown in a light that is sufficient to pronounce them guilty instantly and bay for their blood.

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  2. Sraboney, you are absolutely right. Kasab is entitled to a fair trial.

    Just suppose that an innocent person was caught by mistake in such a situation? If a fair trial was not assured to everyone, then there would be a chance of an innocent person going to the gallows.

    The problem here is more of attitude. It is natural to be sickened by the way people speak of Kasab as if he is the victim. By the way that his lawyer is saying that he may not be a Pakistani, but his Pakistani mother is being allowed to come to meet him. By the way the relatives of a couple of his victims ‘pardon’ him publicly without thinking of the feelings of relatives of other victims who may need to obtain closure by Kasab being punished.

    We have to give him a fair trial, but do we need to act as though he is the victim and the Indian State the villian?

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    • I agree with you entirely…He is not the victim, he just had the misfortune of getting caught…

      His lawyer will say anything eg. he is not a Pakistani or that he’s a juvenile because it’s his job to provide him with the best defence he can…I have no idea why Kasab’s mother is being brought into the picture unless the prosecution has convinced her to testify for them…Wishful thinking on my part…

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  3. I always say that everybody is same infront of law and he must be given a chance.. without that we can’t find the roots of terrorism and more importantly we can’t consider ourself as a democratic nation..

    but what concerns me is, as Ajit has mentioned the delay.. 😦

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  4. Kasab certainly needs to be given a fair trial. Not doing that will, as you say – make him a martyr! As for the current drama surrounding his trial – I am amazed to see the tactics his defence lawyer is coming up with! I just hope this doesn’t become a prolonged drama with his trial delayed unnecessarily..

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  5. I agree with you entirely.
    Today if we allow him to be hanged in a hurry tomorrow we might catch anybody and declare them terrorists and hang them.
    Injustice to one might set a precedence.
    His mother coming to meet him from Pakistan will become a proof that he is indeed- without doubt a Pakistani citizen.

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