news Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 05:30
On Wedneday, July 29, the Supreme Court dismissed Yakub Memon’s petition for a stay on his execution which is scheduled to go ahead on Thursday. The SC on the same day had a different fate in mind for the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. While the Home Ministry has come out and said that Memon should be hanged at the earliest, the SC rejected a curative petition by the government and upheld an earlier decision to commute their death sentences to life imprisonment. On February 18, 2014, the SC had commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment for Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the three guilty of assassinating the former PM. The SC had said that the Centre had delayed a decision on the mercy plea. In the case of Memon however, the decision was different. “Issuance of death warrant cannot be faulted with,” said the apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, while rejecting Memon's plea.  Pronouncing the order, Justice Misra said, "We don't find any legal fallacy" with the issuance of death warrant by the TADA court on April 30. The court order came after a day-long hearing on the petition by Memon and also a reference by two judge-bench on the appropriateness of another bench that had heard Memon's curative petition and rejected it on July 21, 2015. This reference was made following a split verdict between Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Kurien Joseph on Tuesday. Dealing with the reference, the court said that the curative petition that "was decided by the three seniormost judges cannot be regarded as void or inappropriate" in context of the principle that was laid down by this court in an earlier judgement famously known as Hurra case.  "Thus, we disagree with the views expressed by Justice Joseph at this juncture," the court said, holding that "dismissal of curative petition by the three seniormost judges has to be regarded to be correct and not vitiated by any procedural irregularity". Without saying anything on the second mercy petition moved by Memon before the Maharashtra governor after the rejection of his curative petition by the apex court on July 21, the court brought an end to the legal battle being waged by Memon challenging his death sentence.  Memon and 11 others were slapped with the death penalty by the special TADA court in July 2007 for the 1993 bomb blasts in which 257 people were killed and 712 were injured.  Meanwhile, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on Wednesday rejected death row convict Yakub Memon's plea for clemency. With inputs from IANS