President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday night rejected the second mercy plea of Yakub Memon, who’s been given death sentence for his involvement in 1993 Mumbai blasts.
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 are also arguing 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.
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.