The Maharashtra government is counting on governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to reject Yakub Memon’s fresh mercy petition, which the 1993 serial blasts convict filed after the Supreme Court rejected his curative petition earlier this week.
On Wednesday afternoon, after the government received Memon’s mercy petition, it prepared a detailed note of ‘advice’ stating that the petition is untenable and should be rejected. The home department was planning to submit the petition to the governor with its opinion –endorsed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis – late on Thursday evening or by Friday morning at the latest. The governor is expected to take a call on it in a day or two.
According to the state government, if the governor rejects Memon’s mercy plea, there will be no need to send it to the President.
An official from the home department, who did not wish to be named, said, “[Memon] has sought mercy on a few grounds, including schizophrenia, which he claims he has been suffering from for a long time. But none of his reasons have merit and the petition is untenable. The government has mentioned this is in its opinion.”
Another home department official said, “We examined all the reasons mentioned in the petition with legal experts. Once the CM is apprised of it, the petition will be forwarded to the governor.”
A source in the government said the governor was expected to reject the petition. “First of all, the grounds given by petitioners are untenable. While rejecting it, the governor may state that he cannot admit a petition that has already been turned down by the President. There are clear guidelines which state that the governor has the power to reject a mercy petition,” said the source.
Meanwhile, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday that Memon’s execution could not be deferred unless the Supreme Court ordered it. “We have beefed up security in key places, including Mumbai, Thane and Raigad,” he said. Fadnavis added that he was scheduled to make a statement on Memon’s case in the state legislature on July 29, a day before his scheduled execution.