The decision to hang 1993 serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon was taken by the special TADA court that was acting on a Supreme Court directive, and the Maharashtra government had no role in it, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told HT on Friday.
“The date was fixed by the TADA court on April 29, 2015. The court directed us to implement it. There was no question of us waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on curative petition, as the date was decided by the TADA court,” Fadnavis said. The CM said the state will be bound by the SC’s ruling on Memon’s curative petition.
Sources in the home department said the various sections of society lashing out against the decision should know it was taken according to the trial court’s directives.
“The date, time and venue of the execution were decided by the TADA court, and we are only authorised to implement it. The TADA order has also given us directions on how the execution will be carried out – that Memon should be hanged by the neck. There is no question of any change unless the SC or TADA court decides otherwise,” said a home department official.
The home department on Friday also approved an additional Rs70 lakh to repair the hanging facility, as the prisons administration begin preparing for the execution.
“A shade needs to be built and hangmen need to be trained before the execution. We sanctioned the demand made by the superintendent of the Nagpur prison,” said another officer, who did not wish to be named.
The department has been monitoring the preparations and monitoring Memon’s health. “Memon will be the first convict for whom a post mortem will be conducted, according to new SC guidelines,” the officer said.
The July 30 date for execution is the second time the TADA court has fixed a date for Memon’s execution. Officials said Memon was first to be hanged on August 14, 2013, five months after the SC had confirmed TADA court’s verdict.
At that time, the home department objected, saying Memon had the right to move a mercy plea in front of the President of India.
A second mercy plea?
The law and judiciary department has told the government only one mercy plea is usually allowed, unless the President deems the case fit for a second petition by the convict. The registrar general of the SC has also asked the state to update the court about the status of the hanging process.