Eminent jurists, politicians, theatre personalities and artists have filed a mercy petition with the President’s office seeking a stay on Yakub Memon’s execution, scheduled for July 30.
The petition, filed on July 23, states that the Home Ministry’s “subjective feelings” led to the “arbitrary actions” resulting in the rejection of Memon’s mercy petition. The petition further accused the MHA of “moving swiftly to reject” Memon’s petition, unlike in the cases of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers and 1993 Delhi bomb blast case convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar.
“Death sentences imposed on aides of Veerappan, Rajiv Gandhi killers and Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar have been commuted recently by Supreme Court… The Home Ministry has moved swiftly to reject Memon’s mercy’s petition. It seems subjective feelings are the basis of decisions which lead to arbitrary actions,” the petition states. “Unlike the main accused, Memon surrendered before the authorities, a fact which has been confirmed on July 24, 2015 by the then officer in-charge of the entire operation. He is the person who has provided information about Pakistan’s involvement. His execution will weaken the case against the involvement of the Pakistan agencies as there are no other witnesses available,” it states.
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The 21 petitioners include Justice Panachand Jain, Justice P B Sawant, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, MP Majeed Memon, M K Raina, photographer Ram Rahman and artist Vivan Sundaram. The petition cites the long duration of the trial and Memon’s ill mental health as reasons why he should be granted mercy.
“We most humbly request your Excellency to consider the case of Memon and spare him from the noose… for a crime that was master-minded by someone else to communally divide the country,” the seven page petition states.
Stressing that “blood letting and human sacrifice” will not make this country safer and will instead “degrade us all”, the petition argues that the “grant of mercy in this case will send out a message that while this country will not tolerate acts of terrorism, as a nation we are committed to equal application of the power of mercy and values of forgiveness, and justice”.