Maharashtra walks tightrope as SC defers Yakub Memon’s petition
The Maharashtra government was put in a tight spot after the Supreme Court deferred its hearing of a petition filed by 1993 serial blasts convict Yakub Memon to Tuesday.
The postponement means that even if the court dismisses the petition – in which Memon challenges the death warrant served to him – on Tuesday, the state will have only two days to complete its preparations ahead of his execution, scheduled for July 30.
According to officers from the home department, the government was expecting the court to rule on the petition on Monday so that it would have at least three days to process a parallel mercy plea from Memon, addressed to the governor of Maharashta and President Pranab Mukherjee. “The governor’s decision will depend on the Supreme Court’s directives on Tuesday. If the court allows the state to go ahead with the hanging, the governor will be expected to decide on the mercy petition soon after. We will then send the plea to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which will in turn approach the President for a final decision,” said an official from the home department, who did not wish to be named.
The state government has made arrangements to send Memon’s plea to Delhi as soon as the governor makes his decision and has requested the home ministry to keep the documents ready to submit to the President to avoid any change in the date of execution.
During a meeting with the governor on Saturday, officials from the home department submitted to him all aspects related to the case. “The governor has been apprised of all the facts of the case, including the judgement of the TADA court, Memon’s appeal, and his various petitions. There are no new grounds mentioned in his fresh petition and thus it appears untenable,” said another official from the department. “We expect clear directives from Supreme Court on Memon’s execution and also on his repeated mercy and curative petitions,” the official added.