Supreme Court suspends Ajmal Kasab’s death sentence

The Supreme Court said that it would like to hear Mr Kasab’s plea challenging capital punishment at length as “due process of law” has to be followed, even though many feel that the appeal should be outrightly ‘rejected’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the death sentence awarded to Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, saying that it would like to hear his plea challenging capital punishment at length as “due process of law” has to be followed, even though many feel that the appeal should be outrightly ‘rejected’, reports PTI.

While staying Mr Kasab’s death sentence and agreeing to deal with the appeal expeditiously, a special bench of justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad also permitted him to amend his Special Leave Petition (SLP) and furnish additional grounds to challenge the sentence awarded to him by the special court and confirmed by the Bombay High Court.

While staying the execution, the bench also complimented senior counsel and amicus curie Raju Ramachandran for taking up the 2008 terror attack case and agreeing to assist the court.

“In our country many people are of the view that the appeal should be rejected (outrightly) and should not be heard at all but we are happy that you have decided to assist the court as amicus,” the bench told Mr Ramachandran.

It said it would like to hear the matter at length “as the rule of law is supreme in the country and the due process of law has to be observed”.

Agreeing with the bench’s view, former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Maharashtra government, said despite the magnitude of the terror attack, the due process of law has to be maintained and the matter needed to be dealt with expeditiously.

He submitted that all documentation and translation work relating to the trial court and the high court have been completed and as such the apex court may deal with the appeal in an expeditious manner.

The court agreed that it would deal with the appeal in an expeditious manner.

Mr Kasab, the sole convict in the case who has been lodged in Arthur Road prison in Mumbai, in the western Indian state Maharashtra, has moved the SLP through jail authorities. He has challenged his conviction and death sentence in the terror attack case. The apex court had appointed Mr Ramachandaran as amicus curie to assist it in deciding his appeal.

24-year-old Mr Kasab along with nine other Pakistani terrorists had landed at Budhwar Park in south Mumbai on 26th November2008 night from Karachi by sea and had gone on a shooting spree at various city landmarks, leaving 166 people dead and many more wounded.

While Mr Kasab was captured, the other terrorists in the group were killed during the attack. He was sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on 6th May last year.

The Bombay High Court had in its 21st February verdict upheld the trial court order of death sentence to MR Kasab for the ‘brutal and diabolical’ attacks aimed at ‘destabilising’ the government.

Kasab’s death penalty was upheld on charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the nation and various other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law—Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The high court had upheld Mr Kasab’s conviction on 19 counts under the IPC, Arms Act, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, the Foreigners Act, the Passport Act and the Railway Act.

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Andhra Bank launches prepaid gift, international travel cards

Andhra Bank gift cards in denominations between Rs250 and Rs50,000

Andhra Bank has launched prepaid gift and international travel cards. The prepaid gifts card is available in denominations between Rs250 and Rs50,000 and can be bought at no additional charge.

For gifts cards valued beyond Rs20,000 select Know Your Customer (KYC) norms would be applied.

Andhra Bank International Travel Card was also launched in varying denominations in US dollars.

A co-branded health card in association with India First Life Insurance Company Ltd (a life insurance joint of venture of Andhra Bank) was rolled out to access hassle-free claim settlement. All the cards were launched on MasterCard platform.

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Dena Bank reduces home, car loan rates again

Dena bank has reduced interest rates on floating housing and car loans by 0.50%

To ramp up its retail loan book, the public sector lender Dena Bank has further reduced interest rates for the second time in a fortnight on new home and car loans by 25 basis points, the bank said.

For the ensuing festival season, the bank has further reduced interest rates on new housing and car loans by 25 bps in floating rate category with effect from 10th October. Along with 25 bps reduction in lending rates on 25th September, the bank has reduced interest rates on floating housing and car loans by 0.50%, the bank said in a statement.

The bank first launched the festive offer from 1st October and then its lending rate varied from 11.2% to 12.75 % in case of floating home loans. Now this would be 10.7% to 12.25% under the revised new offer.

For auto loans up to three years, the new rates will be 13% and those above three years, it is 13.50%, the bank said.

The bank will also continue with the reduction in the processing fee on these loans by 50%, it said, adding these reductions will be valid up to December.

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