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Yakub case: Afzal’s hanging raised to give political colour

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A political colour was sought to be given to the hearing in the Supreme Court today on the plea seeking stay of execution of Yakub Memon’s death sentence by referring to political divide witnessed in the case of hanging of Parliament attack case convict Mohd Afzal Guru.

“While the BJP wanted Afzal Guru to be hanged, the Congress was not in favour,” senior advocate T R Andhyarujina submitted before a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra.

He raised the controversial execution of Afzal to drive home a point that Memon, who is scheduled to be hanged at 7 am in the morning tomorrow, would meet the same fate.

While supporting Memon’s counsel Raju Ramachandran that due process was not followed in the issuance of the death warrant, Andhyarujina, appearing for Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, associated with Delhi’s National Law University, said the dismissal of Afzal’s mercy plea was not communicated to his family.

“He was taken to Tihar Jail and was executed,” he said, adding, after that, “I was an amicus curaie in a matter relating to death sentence and this court laid down the guidelines.”

He said there should be a mandatory lapse of 14 days for a condemned prisoner to reconcile with his fate and meet the family members.

“Even tomorrow, if Governor rejects Memon’s mercy plea, he cannot be executed before 14 days. All this is subverted in this case,” he said adding, “this man (Memon) is in a pitiable state and there is a agony for him and his family.”

He said if anybody was to be executed, it was his brother Tiger Memon, who is in hiding, and Yakub, who is highly qualified and is a chartered accountant, is facing gallows.

“Execution of his warrant at 7 am tomorrow is totally illegal,” he said.

Further, he referred to the European Union saying death sentence have been revoked even in cases of terrorism.