MUMBAI: As the Supreme Court is likely to hear 1993 bomb blast convict Yakub Memon’s review petition on Monday, the Maharashtra government has requested Governor Vidyasagar Rao not to entertain his mercy plea.
The officials of state Home Department briefed Rao on the issue on Saturday. They are of the view that Yakub cannot be granted mercy as it was denied earlier. “He had filed a mercy plea to the then Governor too, after he was convicted. It was rejected at the time. In addition to that, he has not raised any new point seeking pardon,” Chief Minister
Devendra Fadnavis said. Fadnavis, however, has said that the government will wait for the SC’s verdict on Monday.
In his petition, Yakub has claimed that he needs medical treatment. He also has argued that the death sentence of other convicts has been commuted to life imprisonment. “I have spent 22 years in prison. So my death sentence should also be commuted to life imprisonment,” the petition stated.
The state government has approved `23 lakh to build a ceiling at the open space in Nagpur Central Jail where Yakub is likely to be hanged on July 30.
A Government Resolution issued in this regard stated that the amount has been approved to build a temporary iron grill like ceiling in the hanging yard. “It was essential to enhance the prison’s security after the SC rejected Yakub’s second curative petition on July 21,” the GR stated.
Yakub’s wife Raheen and daughter Zubeda are hopeful of getting a reprieve from the SC.
“Yakub had come to Nepal to surrender before the investigation agency because he had not done anything wrong. I hope the SC and the Maharashtra government will pardon him,” Raheen told a Marathi news channel. However, she refused to answer when asked why she and Yakub had gone to Pakistan and stayed there for almost one and half years.
Yakub’s sympathisers have launched a campaign to underpin that he is a scapegoat as the agencies have failed to bring back the real culprits-- Dawood Ibrahim and Yakub’s elder brother Tiger. They are referring to former R&AW director, the late B Raman’s article saying he was not in favour of punishment for Yakub as he was ready to surrender. Yakub’s family friend Osman Memon, who had met him in Nepal hours before his arrest, too claimed that he wanted to surrender.
“I had got a call from Yakub asking me to meet him in Nepal. He wanted to surrender. His lawyer cousin had advised him to return to Pakistan first as Raheen was expecting her first child at any moment and then go to Dubai with other family members after her delivery. He had asked the family to come to Mumbai from Dubai and then surrender,” Osman said.