President rejects mercy plea; Memon lawyers appeal again

Yakub files new plea in SC after it upholds his death warrant.

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:22 pm IST

Published - July 29, 2015 11:14 pm IST - New Delhi

Police prevent BJP workers from marching to the Congress office in South Mumbai on Wednesday to protest the demand by Congress MLAs to commute the sentence of Yakub Memon to life imprisonment. — Photo: Ashish Bajaj

Police prevent BJP workers from marching to the Congress office in South Mumbai on Wednesday to protest the demand by Congress MLAs to commute the sentence of Yakub Memon to life imprisonment. — Photo: Ashish Bajaj

With just a few hours left for Yakub Memon’s execution scheduled at 7 a.m. on Thursday, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the mercy petition of the lone condemned man in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case in quick succession on a day when the Maharashtra Governor and the Supreme Court refused to give him relief.

President Mukherjee’s decision came after a long discussion held with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Mr. Singh, accompanied by Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar, had advised the President to reject the clemency plea.

While matters proceeded on this front, Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu’s office confirmed to The Hindu on Wednesday night that another petition had been filed with the Supreme Court Registry, but it was yet to reach the CJI’s residence.

Sources said the petition argued that the President’s consideration of the mercy petition was in too close proximity to the scheduled hour of execution, giving an impression that the President would not get sufficient time to apply his mind to a matter concerning the life and death of a person. It said a minimum 14-day gap should be there between the rejection of mercy petition and the execution.

“We have filed a petition. We are waiting outside the CJI’s residence for an opportunity to be heard,” advocate Brinda Grover said.

Closing its doors on Yakub Memon, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to quash his death warrant. Its rejection coincided with the Maharashtra Governor finding no merit in his clemency plea. “The Governor of Maharashtra Ch. Vidyasagar Rao has rejected [the] mercy petition filed by death convict Yakub Abdul Razzak Memon under Article 161 of the Constitution of India,” a statement from Raj Bhavan said.

The day saw news of Yakub’s fresh mercy plea before the President trickle into the courtroom where the condemned man was putting up a last-ditch fight to stay his execution scheduled on July 30, his birthday.

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