Indian Supreme Court Monday suspended the death sentence awarded to Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack, saying it would wait to hear the petition challenging his conviction and death sentence. "In our country many people are of the view that the appeal should be rejected (outright) and should not be heard at all," the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice C.K. Prasad said. The judges, however, said "we have to afford him full opportunity" to defend himself as provided in the judicial system. "That is the price we have to pay to uphold the supremacy of law," the judges said. The final hearing in the case will be held on Jan. 31, 2012. If the Supreme Court upholds the death sentence, Kasab -- who is in jail in Mumbai -- can appeal for clemency to Indian President Pratibha Patil as a last resort. The Mumbai High Court had in its February 21 verdict upheld Kasab's conviction and death penalty handed down by the special court on charges of waging war against the nation among others. Ajmal Amir Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who went on a killing spree for nearly three days killing 166 people, was convicted in May 2010.