NEW DELHI: Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan on Thursday dubbed the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon to be a sad day for Indian democracy and said that capital punishment is not serving as an effective deterrent against terrorism.
“It’s a sad day for Indian democracy. In my view, it’s a sad day for the Indian judiciary as well because though they heard the matter late at night, which is creditable, but the end result to my mind was a miscarriage to justice,” Bhushan told ANI.
“Unfortunately, the government’s insistence on hanging him right now and this whole kind of frenzy to hang him immediately has led to a situation where he has been denied of this judicial remedy of challenging the rejection of his mercy petition,” he added.
Pointing out that more than 130 countries in the world have done away with capital punishment, the Supreme Court lawyer said India is one the last remaining civilized countries, which still has capital punishment.
“Capital punishment promotes this kind of lynch mob mentality, this blood lust and blood thirst in any society which is not good for a society,” he added.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi said that any execution of death sentence stirs up hysteria and urged the people to have faith in the impartiality of the judiciary.
“Any execution of death sentence stirs up a mass hysteria and this is same story all over the world. There is a need to keep our cool and keep faith in the partiality of the judiciary because they are unattached and have superior wisdom as compared to us. They are able to look at various aspects while we try and emphasize on one particular aspect,” said Tulsi.
Asserting that the debate over capital punishment would never end, Tulsi said it serves as a deterrent against mindless crimes.
“Existence of death sentence on the statued books plays a significant rule as a deterrent against mindless crimes. I do believe India has attained a perfect balance in minimum use of the death sentence. In the last 65 years, we have seen that not more than 50 people seem to have been executed, even though a much larger number was awarded the death sentence,” said Tulsi.
“So, it shows that we are in deterrent spirit, sticking to the law laid by the Supreme Court that it must be awarded in the rarest of the rare cases,” he added.
Yakub was hanged at the Nagpur Central jail this morning after his second mercy plea before President Pranab Mukherjee was rejected late last night.
In an unprecedented move, a three-judge bench of the apex court presided over a fresh hearing of the case throughout the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday before dismissing the final appeal for mercy by Yakub, the only person to be sentenced to death for the series of bombings in Mumbai.
Yakub was convicted for being the "driving spirit" behind the blasts that killed at least 257 people at separate landmarks in the financial capital, including the Bombay Stock Exchange and two crowded markets.