Supreme Court’s three-judge bench on Thursday morning rejected Yakub Memon’s final petition asking the Apex Court to uphold the 14-day rule before hanging. This now means that Yakub will hang as planned at 06.30.
Justice Deepak Mishra, in his observation, said that Yakub had accepted his fate after rejection of mercy petition in April 2014 adding that ample opportunity was given to Yakub Memon.
He said, “Review petition for Yakub Memon was heard for ten days when the law mandates that only half hour has to be given. Execution warrant was communicated to Yakub Memon on 13th July ’15. On 11.4.2014 mercy petition by the brother of Yakub Memon was rejected. Petitioner Yakub Memon never disowned the mercy petition filed by his brother.”
Yakub’s lawyer, Anand Grover, later called the SC judgement a ‘tragic mistake’ adding that “his is wrong decision. Person has a right to challenge rejection of mercy petition. If we don’t want terrorism to strike, steps need to be taken.”
He said that he hoped the Supreme Court will soon correct this mistake.
Yakub’s lawyer said that he had exhausted all legal options and hoped that he had a dignified death.
Yakub Memon, who is a convict in 1993 Mumbai blasts, is scheduled to be hanged on Thursday morning. He had filed mercy petition before the President of India. His lawyers later moved Supreme Court after the President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy plea.
Mukherjee rejected Yakub’s mercy plea after being advised by the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, advised him to do so.
After Mukherjee rejected his mercy plea, Memon moved Supreme Court once again with the plea that the ‘President can’t decide on his mercy plea overnight.’
Memon’s lawyers also argued that the Supreme Court must uphold the 14-day rule before hanging. Some high profile lawyers including Prashant Bhushan was seen standing outside the residence of the Chief Justice of India.
Later, it was decided that the Supreme Court will hold an unprecedented session at 2.30 in the morning. But by the time the court proceedings began it was well past 3 am.
However, it was until 5 am in the morning, when the final verdict was pronounced.
While Yakub Memon’s lawyers argued that the Supreme Court must uphold the 14-day rule before hanging, the attorney general representing Maharshtra government said that continuous filing of pleas would stop the government’s ability to execute death sentences in future.
Rohatgi alleged that the defence lawyers were trying to play a game to delay the process by 4-5 years so that they could then seek commuting the death sentence to life.
Other arguments being used by Memon are his health condition, behaviour inside the jail and what the former RAW officer Raman, who was in-charge of Pakistan desk, had to say in his article written for a website, must be considered before arriving at a verdict.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court had rejected all the technical arguments presented before it in this case dismissing Yakub’s curative petition that held legal procedure was not correctly followed in his case. The court also said that there was no lapse in the death warrant issued for Yakub in this case.
Yakub had asked for a stay on his hanging scheduled for tomorrow, on grounds that rules were violated.
Soon after the SC verdict was made public, Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao wasted no time in rejecting Yakub’s mercy petition.