Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday that Yakub Memon’s execution will go ahead as planned on July 30, despite a fresh mercy petition from the 1993 serial blasts convict. Soon after the Supreme Court rejected Memon’s curative petition on Tuesday, the state home department issued fresh orders to officials at Nagpur jail to prepare for his execution.
Supreme Court guidelines mandate that there should be 14 days between the rejection of a mercy plea and the execution of the death sentence. This would straight away rule out July 30 as the date of execution.
Fadnavis said the date, place and procedure of the hanging were decided by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court, according to directives issued by the Supreme Court, and claimed the government had no power to change these.
“The convicts’ area of operation was Mumbai, Thane and Raigad and to some extent Pune, and so we have decided to hang him at Nagpur jail with the permission of the court. The time of his execution is yet to be finalised and will be disclosed at the appropriate time,” he told the Hindustan Times.
Sources, however, said the state home department is considering the legal implications of the second mercy petition, which Memon filed after the Supreme Court rejected his curative petition on Tuesday.
“We have been told that the petition is 3,000 pages long. This could make our job difficult as it is mandatory to read every page of the petition before making a decision. The home department will send it to the governor and then to the President of India. Though it is a difficult task, we will endeavour to get a decision before the scheduled date of hanging,” said an officer from home department, who did not wish to be named.
The official said the home department was following Supreme Court guidelines issued after Afzal Guru’s hanging in December 2013, which were sent to state governments by the union home ministry in February this year.
According to the guidelines, there must be at least 14 days between the rejection of a convict’s mercy petition and his execution. This is to give the convict time to settle his affairs, meet his family or avail of any judicial remedy.
Meanwhile, Nagpur jail officials have been told to begin preparing for Memon’s execution. “We have sanctioned a special fund of Rs 70 lakh for the maintenance of facilities required to hang a convict and to train hangmen. Medical officers are monitoring the mental and physical health of the convict and reports are being submitted to the department from time to time. His family members will be given permission for a final meeting before the execution,” said the home department official.