BJP, Congress welcome SC verdict on Memon, Owaisi disappointed

Owaisi demanded that capital punishment be also given to culprits of of Babri masjid demolition

New Delhi/Mumbai: The Supreme Court's refusal to stay the execution of Yakub Memon, the lone death row convict in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, was on Wednesday welcomed by BJP and Congress as an action where justice has been finally delivered to the victims while the legal fraternity was divided.

The verdict rejecting Yakub's plea was met with "extreme appointment" by AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi who said it is a setback. He demanded that capital punishment be also given to those who committed the "original sin", demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. It drew mixed reactions from the legal fraternity with some questioning the procedure adopted in issuance of death warrant while others as also the victims hailed the refusal.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray criticised All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi and actor Salman Khan here today for opposing Yakub Memon's execution.

"Salman Khan may be stupid, but what about people like Naseeruddin Shah who signed Yakub Memon's mercy petition? Did Naseeruddin Shah and others notice all other problems in Maharashtra," Raj Thackeray said.

Political leaders like Manishankar Aiyar(Congress), Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat, both CPI-M, who were among the eminent persons including retired jurists who submitted a fresh mercy petition to President Pranab Mukherjee said he had the powers under Article 72 of the Constitution to commute Yakub's death sentence not withstanding the court verdict.

Branding those who opposed the death sentence to Yakub as "mentally challenged" in need of treatment, BJP said it was wrong for "some people to have politicised the whole issue or for giving it a communal colour".

"We welcome the SC judgement. Ultimately justice has been delivered to all the victims of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. People of the country have faith in the judiciary and with this verdict, their faith has been strengthened further," BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the SC verdict brings finality to the entire legal process and that it would not be proper to try and go behind the decision and attribute anything to it.

Another BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said it is a "big day" for the victims of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and a sense of justice prevails today and termed it as a "victory" of law.

Congress saw a "conclusion of a judicial process" in the Supreme Court's decision, noting that full justice would be done to Mumbai blast victims when the government brings back Tiger Memon from Pakistan.

"Indian National Congress looks at it as shape of conclusion of a judicial process as also partial justice to the 1993 Bombay blast victims.

"Full justice would be done when the government of the day is to bring back Tiger Memon from Pakistan where he has been given shelter," party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Hailing the verdict, Shiv Sena noted that all have said in one voice that Memon should not be given mercy because it is the voice of the citizens of the country. Senior advocate Indira Jaising expressed displeasure and said, "Justice has not been done. I criticise the Supreme Court's failure to recognise that the right procedure has not been followed."

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee said finality has come from the Supreme Court as Yakub has exhausted all his legal remedies 12 coordinated blasts had rocked Bombay, as the city was then known, on March 12, 1993, leaving 257 dead and over 700 injured.

( Source : PTI )
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