New Delhi: Rashtrapati Bhavan saw unprecedented hectic parleys on Wednesday evening where home minister Rajnath Singh made out a strong case for Yakub’s execution “at the earliest” in a meeting with President Mukherjee that lasted over two hours.
Solicitor-general Ranjit Kumar and home secretary L.C.Goyal were also summoned to the meeting where Mr Mukherjee, who is known to study the minute details of any matter put up before him, discussed Yakub’s case in detail.
Sources said the President did not want to be seen acting in haste and studied the matter in detail before he decided to reject the mercy petition. The noose tightened around Yakub on Wednesday the moment that a three-member bench of the Supreme Court threw out his plea seeking a reconsideration of his death sentence.
Yakub’s execution is expected to bring closure to the 22-year-long battle for justice by victims of one of the biggest terrorist strikes in Mumbai that killed 257 persons, and also injured 700 others, on March 12, 1993. Yakub scurried to file a fresh mercy petition before the President hours after the Supreme Court verdict. President Mukherjee’s rejection of his clemency plea came at the behest of the Narendra Modi government, which advised the President there should be “no delay” in his execution. Yakub’s hanging will come days after the terror attack in Punjab and sends out a clear signal to terror perpetrators in Pakistan that India will deal with terror activities with an iron hand.
Earlier in the day, pronouncing the Supreme Court order, Justice Dipak Misra said “we don’t find any legal fallacy” with the issuance of the death warrant by the Tada court on April 30. The court order came after a day-long hearing on the petition by Memon and also a reference by the two judge-bench on the appropriateness of another bench that heard Memon’s curative petition and rejected it on July 21, 2015.
This reference was made following a split verdict between Justices Anil R.Dave and Kurien Joseph on Tuesday. The court verdict, which came earlier Wednesday, set off a series of hectic consultations within the government. After Maharashtra governor C.V. Rao rejected Yakub’s fresh plea for clemency and sent the file to the President, it was referred to the Union home ministry. Home minister Rajnath Singh said Yakub must not be shown any mercy for his role in the serial blasts.
The government’s decision came after consultations with the A-G on the matter and meetings between the law and home secretaries. All eyes were on the court verdict after the Chief Justice had constituted a larger bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Prafulla C.Pant and Amitava Roy to decide Memon’s fate....