Rajnath took Modi’s advice on Yakub Memon case

The Home Minister spent nearly two hours at Modi’s residence.

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:22 pm IST

Published - July 30, 2015 01:24 am IST - New Delhi:

The Home Ministry took a decision to reject the fresh mercy petition of Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon after Rajnath Singh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday afternoon.

The Home Minister, who paid a visit to Mr. Modi’s residence for a scheduled meeting on “citizenship” issues pertaining to the Ministry, is learnt to have discussed threadbare Yakub’s case. Though in May 2014, the Ministry recommended the rejection of the mercy petition, sources said Mr. Singh brought it up with the Prime Minister in the wake of the national debate it had attracted in the past few days. What made the decision easier was the Supreme Court judgment.

Mr. Singh spent nearly two hours at Mr. Modi’s residence. He rushed back to his North Block office around 6 p.m. and was briefed by Home Ministry officials on the legal aspects of the case. He even skipped a Cabinet sitting scheduled right after his meeting with Mr. Modi.

He signed the file approving the rejection of the mercy petition, and around 8 p.m., Mr. Singh went to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The meeting with the President went on for about two hours till 11 pm. While deciding on a clemency plea, the President is bound by the “aid and advice” of the Union government.

Mr. Singh personally carried the file containing the Home Ministry’s stand on the subject to President Pranab Mukherjee. Mr. Singh is believed to have conveyed the government’s view that the mercy petition be rejected.

Hectic consultations were on in the evening on the issue with Law Secretary P.K. Malhotra holding discussions with Home Secretary L.C. Goyal.

In March 2013, the Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentence awarded to Yakub, holding him guilty of being the “driving spirit” behind the blasts which killed 257 people.

Yakub then moved a clemency petition before the President in October 2013. It was in May 2014 that the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, at the fag end of its term, sent the proposal to reject the petition to the President. The President went by the advice of the government, and rejected it.

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