NEW DELHI, Aug 29: India´s Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence handed down to Mohammed Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.
Pakistan-born Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who laid siege to Mumbai in attacks that lasted nearly three days, had appealed against the sentence and claimed he had not been received a fair trial.
"We are left with no option but to award death penalty," the two judges said in a court order. "The primary and foremost offence committed by Kasab is waging war against the government of India."
The judges had opened the appeal by Kasab, who is being held in a maximum-security prison in Mumbai, in January.
He was found guilty in a Mumbai court on charges including waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts, and was handed the death penalty in May 2010.
After losing his Supreme Court petition, Kasab is expected to lodge a final appeal for clemency with the president.
Verdict due on Mumbai gunman´s appeal
India´s Supreme Court was due Wednesday to deliver its verdict on an appeal against the death sentence handed down to the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Mohammed Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who laid siege to Mumbai in attacks that lasted nearly three days and killed 166 people, launched his appeal claiming he had not been given a fair trial.
He was found guilty of charges including waging war against India, murder and terrorist acts, and was given the death penalty in May 2010.
Two Supreme Court judges in New Delhi have heard the appeal of Pakistan-born Kasab, who is currently held in a maximum-security prison in Mumbai.
If he loses his Supreme Court petition, he can lodge a final appeal for clemency with the president.
During the November 2008 attacks, heavily armed Islamist gunmen stormed targets in Mumbai including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a hospital and a bustling train station.
India blames the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit for training, equipping and financing the gunmen with support from "elements" in the Pakistan military.
Kasab initially pleaded not guilty but later confessed, admitting he was one of the gunmen sent by the LeT.
"I was denied a fair trial," Kasab said in a statement when his appeal hearing began in January. "I may be guilty of killing people and carrying out a terrorist act but I am not guilty of waging war against the state."
In 2009, Pakistan charged seven alleged perpetrators behind the attacks but insists it needs more evidence.
The Mumbai attacks horrified India as each development unfolded live on television, and there have been widespread public calls for Kasab´s execution.
At the trial, the prosecution produced fingerprint, DNA, eyewitness and TV footage evidence showing Kasab opening fire and throwing grenades at Mumbai´s main railway station in the bloodiest episode of the attacks.
Most death sentences in India are commuted to life imprisonment, but convicts can sit on death row for years awaiting a final decision.
Pakistan has admitted that the attacks were planned partly on its soil, but flatly denies any official involvement.