Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday that the curative petition filed in the Supreme Court by 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon, which is scheduled to be heard on July 21, is unlikely to hinder the process leading up to his execution on July 30.
The state government announced that Yakub will be hanged at 7am on July 30, subject to the Supreme Court rejecting his mercy plea, Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. The government had initiated the procedure for Yakub’s execution – by obtaining permission from the TADA court – after the Supreme Court rejected his review petition on April 9.
Fadnavis said, however, that Yakub’s petition is unlikely to be a hindrance as the Supreme Court has not issued any specific directives about it. “The court has not even admitted his curative petition,” he added. He said Yakub’s execution will be conducted according to Supreme Court directives, and that his relatives have been informed of it.
An official in the home department, who did not wish to be named, said Yakub will put under medical observation till the day of his execution. “His family members will be allowed to meet him once or twice in the next 15 days. And according to new guidelines, a post-mortem will be conducted after the hanging,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the state’s decision to announce the date of Yakub’s execution drew mixed reactions. Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi criticised the government for revealing the date. “There was secrecy around the hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru, so why has the date of Yakub’s execution been made public? It is wrong to declare a date when his plea for mercy is still pending in the Supreme Court. The government is trying to create communal tension,” he claimed.
NCP leader and leading lawyer Majeed Memon also criticised the government’s decision. “The conduct of the state government is suspicious and the reasons for the execution are political. The question is: how he can be hanged when his curative petition is pending in court? Why was the decision taken in haste?” he asked.
Maharashtra has about 45 convicts on death row, and this will be the second execution in the state in two-and-a-half years. Ajmal Kasab was executed at Yerwada jail in November 2012.