The notification released by the Home Ministry ordering the first execution in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case has been received with a mixed response from the people. While some think justice has been served there are others who have expressed disappointment, terming it as a ‘populist’ decision taken to woo the majority and ferment the image of the government as one that is tough against terror. This conflict in opinion has paved its way within the judiciary as well, as the Supreme Court bench failed to achieve consensus within itself to release the final order on Memon’s hanging.
The two judge bench comprising of Justice Anil Dave and Kurien Joseph differed in their opinion on the case. Dave wanted to dismiss Memon’s petition, however Justice Joseph was reluctant to do so. The bench has decided to refer the case to Chief Justice of India H L Dattu, who would form a larger bench to hear the petition. (ALSO READ: CBI persuaded Yakub Memon to return to India, says former investigating official)
Meanwhile former jurists have also urged the apex court to re-consider the matter in a fresh manner. Former CJI Harjit Singh Bedi has urged the court to begin fresh proceedings in the case taking immediate suo moto of the article written by late R&AW officer B Raman, who maintained that Yakub, along with his family had surrendered voluntarily before the CBI. Exercising its authority as decreed under article 142 of the Indian constitution, the Supreme Court can re-initiate inquiry in the matter.
Justice Markandey Katju has slammed the judiciary for what he calls a “populist and biased” decision to execute Memon. “This is a gross travesty of justice,” said Katju expressing his disgust. The former CJI has questioned the conviction of Yakub Memon saying that he was convicted on “extremely weak grounds”.
A rising number of people have expressed their dissent against the decision to execute Yakub Memon. A relentless campaign has been launched on the social media with some furious users also lamenting the derogatory term ‘Banana Republic’ against the union government for the eagerness it has exhibited in announcing the sole execution of the 1993 bomb blast convict.
Not only the Twitterati, but also eminent academicians, politicians, jurists and major segment of film fraternity have appealed the President to commute the death penalty awarded to Memon. However, the Centre has made it clear that the date of execution will not be delayed unless the apex court or the President orders to do so.