The growing clamour against the execution of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon found support from eminent historian professor Irfan Habib, who expressed hope that the Supreme Court will deliver a lenient verdict, as “government approvers were never awarded the maximum sentence.”
Replying to a question regarding the death sentence on Tuesday, prof Habib said, “Hanging a person is the harshest punishment that our constitution gives a convict but till date no government approver has been granted that maximum punishment. If today Yakub Memon is hanged, who will come forward to help the government in the future? Even a retired judge of the honourable Supreme Court has opined that Memon should not be hanged."
Irfan Habib is also among the 291 eminent persons of the country who have appealed to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee to stay the execution of Yakub Memon. Other people who have signed the petition include lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Prashant Bhushan, CPI (M) leader Sita Ram Yechuri, Congress leader Mani Shankar Ayyar, actor Nasiruddin Shah, Tushar Gandhi and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha.