Opposition guns for Fadnavis

Lawyer visits death row prisoner despite his ID card not being in order.

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:12 pm IST

Published - July 23, 2015 02:15 am IST

Yakub Memon's lawyer Shakib Farukh interacts with the media after meeting his client in Nagpur.

Yakub Memon's lawyer Shakib Farukh interacts with the media after meeting his client in Nagpur.

Accusing the Maharashtra government of compromising the security of 1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon, the Opposition has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio.

The controversy erupted after it was alleged that Mr. Memon’s lawyer Shubail Farooq entered the Nagpur prison using an invalid identity card and held a meeting with him for over an hour.

“His identity card expired on January 31, 2013. This meeting raises serious questions about the law and order situation in the State. How can anyone with an invalid identity card enter the prison and meet a heavily guarded criminal like Yakub Memon?” asked Nationalist Congress Party MLC Kiran Pawaskar in the State Council on Wednesday.

“Was he really his lawyer? What did they discuss for one hour?” asked Mr. Pawaskar. The Nagpur prison has been under the scanner after a number of criminals managed to escape. As the incidents grabbed headlines, Mr. Fadnavis had to intervene. The Opposition sought an explanation from the government about the incident and the statement is likely to be made on Thursday.

Reacting to the controversy, Mr. Farooq told The Hindu , “I was also carrying my Supreme Court and Delhi High Court Bar Association identity cards, and I even asked the jailor if he required any of them. The jail authorities said this card was enough. The question is if the identity card is invalid, does it mean that I am no longer a lawyer? If a person’s driving licence has expired, does it mean he can’t drive any longer?”

Mr. Farooq said his client’s mercy petition asking for clemency under Article 161 of the Constitution had been submitted to the Nagpur jail authorities. Article 161 empowers a Governor to grant pardon or commute sentences in certain cases.

Police review securityStaff Reporter from Mumbai reports: The Mumbai Police on Wednesday reviewed the security situation ahead of the likely execution of Yakub Memon on July 30. The meeting was attended by all officers of the rank of Deputy Commissioners and above, including Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria.

The two points that the police are likely to provide additional security for are Mahim — where Yakub spent his early years and Dongri — where his family resides. A senior police officer said the burial, in event of his hanging, would take place at Mahim.

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