Excerpts Of The Petition : Difference Vanishes In Appeal Of Mercy For Yakub Memon
NEW DELHI:Almost 300 prominent citizens including several prominent political leaders including the ruling BJP, eminent jurists, journalists, social activist and film personalities are signatory of the mercy petition filed to President of India against the execution of Yakub Memon, the convict of the Bombay terror attacks of 1993.
Those who appealed to stay the execution of Yakub Memon are from every section of Indian society as well as leaders from all the political parties who came forward cutting the party barriers.
Eminent leaders who figures in this mercy appeal includes MPs from BJP Shatrughan Sinha, Congress Mani Shankar Aiyer, Ram Jethmalani, Majeed Memon, Sitaram Yechury , D. Raja, K.T.S Tulsi, H.K. Dua, T. Siva, Prakash Karat, Polit Bureaumember of CPM Dipankar Bhattacharya, Brinda Karat, Retd. Justice Panachand Jain , H.S. Bedi, P. B. Sawant, H. Suresh , K. P. Siva Subramaniam , S. N. Bhargava , K Chandru , Nagmohan Das , filmmakers and actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Mahesh Bhatt and Tushar Gandhi and several other important personalities of different sect of Indian society.
The full text of the petition and list of its signatory is below–
His Excellency, The Hon’ble President of India Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
Subject: New Mercy Petition Urging Stay Against Imminent Execution of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon
May it Please Your Excellency:
This is a mercy petition for Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, who is scheduled to be executed on 30 July 2015 as per the execution warrant issued by the TADA Court. We, the undersigned, through this petition urge Your Excellency to stay the imminent execution so that the substantive and fresh grounds raised herein can be considered on merits.
A. Preliminary Grounds — An International Commitment to abolish death penalty – We the signatories of this mercy petition humbly make the statement that in India death penalty cannot be imposed till such time Parliament of India decides not to abolish death penalty and the reason for the same are as under: The universal declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly on 10.12.1948 defined certain human rights and fundamental freedoms which need to be protected. Among the subsequent human right documents, the most important are the two covenants adopted by the General Assembly in 1966: The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. India became a party to both these covenant by ratifying them on 27.3.1979. There are two optional protocols to the covenant, the Second Protocol aims at the abolition of death penalty. Article VI of Part-III of the covenant on civil and political rights lays down as under: -Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. – In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crime. – Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence amnesty or commutation of death may be granted in all cases.
The President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution of India has the power to grant pardon and to suspend, remit or commute sentence in certain cases. It is in this way the constitution of India permits right of appeal. … …In India this power of pardon is to be exercised by the President and therefore under no circumstances for empowering the President the word “shall” could have been used in the covenant but it means a command i.e. commutation of sentence of death must be granted in all cases by President, till such time Parliament of India decides that it will continue the penalty of death sentence. After signing of covenant, the Parliament of India has not considered any amendment in the Indian Penal Code for abolition of death sentence. The second optional protocol to the International covenant on civil and political rights reads as under:
Convinced that all measures of abolition of the death penalty should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life, Desirous to undertake hereby an international commitment to abolish the death penalty,
No reservation is admissible to the present Protocol, except for a reservation made at the time of ratification or accession that provides for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.
As regards covenant we may submit that a covenant is a treaty and it lays down a notable step forward in the protection of human rights within the framework of the United Nations and constitutes the basic provisions of International Bill of Rights…. but should be considered to be firmly established as a part of international law which the domestic courts are duty bound to give effect to.
2. Present Petition Meets Procedural Requirements
This Mercy Petition satisfies the legal requirements applicable to a fresh mercy petition as per G. KrishtaGoud v. State of A.P., (1976) 1 SCC 157para10 and clause VII-(A) of the Procedure Regarding Petitions for Mercy in Death Sentence Cases, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 3. Death Warrant fixing the date of Execution is Illegal
Yakub Memon was not given advance notice of the death warrant hearing and as a result of which he and his lawyers could not participate and contest the issuance of the death warrant. Lack of hearing makes the present death warrant void in light of the Supreme Court decision in Shabnam v. Union of India &Ors, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 88 of 2015 (decided on May 27, 2015).
B. Fresh Grounds on Merits
Following are some very disturbing aspects of this case which make the award of death sentence of Yakub Memon as grossly unfair, arbitrary and excessive. 1. Long Duration of Trial and Incarceration Suffered Till Date
Yakub Memon has served more than 20 years in prison since his arrest. His trial took 14 years to complete. While the Supreme Court used this long period of incarceration as a mitigating circumstance to commute the death sentences of the other 10 co-accused persons, it applied a different yardstick to Yakub. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has repeatedly held that lengthy incarceration during pendency of appeal in death cases is a significant mitigating circumstance which ought to be considered in determination of sentence. In the interests of justice we request you to give due importance to this. 2. Yakub Memon is Mentally Unfit for Execution
Yakub Memon has been suffering from schizophrenia for the last 20 years which makes him unfit for execution. His mental condition has been certified by jail doctors. Schizophrenia as a mental illness …. Your Excellency is required to consider the mental health of a convict before deciding his mercy petition, and can summon his medical records from the prison from the time of his arrest. 3. Role in the 1993 Bomb Blasts Conspiracy
Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim as the Main Conspirators As per the case of the prosecution, the 1993 bomb blasts were orchestrated by Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim to seek revenge for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya……Both Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim have been absconding and Yakub, brother of Tiger Memon, who was not the main actor in the conspiracy is being executed.
Commuted Co-accused played a larger role in the Conspiracy than Yakub Memon: Prejudiced on Account of being Tiger Memon’s Brother The TADA Court convicted 100 persons and awarded death penalty to 11 persons. In appeal, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of all the convicts except Yakub Memon.
In comparison to Yakub Memon, the 10 co-accused persons whose death sentences were commuted planted the bombs themselves and played a much more critical and direct role in the actual execution of the bomb blast conspiracy. Several of whom even travelled to Pakistan for arms training. This shows Yakub Abdul Razak Memon who is facing an imminent execution only on account of being Tiger Memon’s younger brother.
Witness in the case
Unlike the main accused, Yakub Memon surrendered before the authorities, a fact which has been confirmed on July 24 by the then officer in charge of the entire operation, Shri B.Raman. Yakub Memon is the person who has provided information about Pakistan involvement. His execution will weaken the case against the involvement of the Pakistan agencies as there are no other witnesses available. 4. Death Sentence of Convicts in other Terror Cases Commuted
It is also worthwhile to note that death sentences imposed on the aides of Veerappan (convicted and sentenced to death under TADA), Rajiv Gandhi killers and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar have been commuted recently by the Supreme Court. While the mercy petitions of Verappan’s aides, Rajiv Gandhi’s three killers and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar were decided belatedly by the President, thereby giving them the claim of delay jurisprudence, the Home Ministry has moved swiftly to reject Yakub Abdul Razak Memon’s mercy’s petition. It seems that subjective factors are the basis of decisions which lead to arbitrary actions. 5. Death Sentence of TADA is Unfair and Discriminatory
Yakub Memon has been tried and sentenced to death under TADA, a special law which was repealed by the Parliament on account of it having been used to target the minorities. . Final Plea
We most humbly request your Excellency to consider the case of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon and spare him from the noose of the death for a crime that was master-minded by someone else to communally divide the country. Grant of mercy in this case will send out a message that while this country will not tolerate acts of terrorism, as a nation we are committed to equal application of the power of mercy and values of forgiveness, and justice. Blood letting and human sacrifice will not make this country a safer place; it will, however, degrade us all.
Yours Sincerely, Justice Panachand Jain (Retd) Justice H.S. Bedi (Retd) Justice P. B. Sawant (Retd) Justice H. Suresh (Retd) Justice K. P. Siva Subramaniam (Retd) Justice S. N. Bhargava (Retd) Justice K Chandru (Retd) Justice Nagmohan Das (Retd) Shatrughan Sinha MP Mani Shankar Aiyer, MP Ram Jethmalani, MP Majeed Memon, MP Sitaram Yechury, MP, G.S, CPI(M) D. Raja, MP, Secretary, CPI K.T.S Tulsi, MP H.K. Dua, MP T. Siva, MP Prakash Karat, CPI(M), Member, Polit Bureau Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)-Liberation Brinda Karat, CPI(M), Member, Polit Bureau N. Ram, Senior Journalist Prashant Bhushan, Senior Lawyer Jagmati Sangwan, General Secretary, AIDWA Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation M. K. Raina, Film & theatre artist Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker Naseeruddin Shah, Actor Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker Lalit Vachani, Filmmaker Ram Rahman Vivan Sundaram, Artist Prof. Prabhat Patnaik Prof. C. P. Chandrasekhar Prof. Utsa Patnaik Ritu Diwan, Former Director & Head Dept of Economics, Mumbai University Jean Dreze Pamela Philipose, Journalist Achin Vanaik Adv. Flavia Agnes, Director, Majlis Legal Centre, Mumbai. Parthiv Shah Prof. Irfan Habib Prof. Arjun Dev Prof. D. N. Jha Prof. Kalpana Kannibaran, Hyderabad Indira Jaisingh, Former, Addl. Sol. General Kirti Singh, Former Member, Law Commission Vrinda Grover, Lawyer Prof. Abhijit Sen Dr. Imrana Qadir Dilip D’souza, Author Ravi Chelam, Biologist and Conservationist Scientist, Bengaluru Prof. Sohini Ghosh Associate Prof. Sabina Gadihoke Smita Gupta, economist Prof. Jayati Ghosh Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Ludhiana Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad Manisha Sethi, Academic Prof. Ved Kumari Biraj Patnaik Virginia Saldanha Prof.Madhu Prashad Anees Azmi Rahul Saxena Anjali Mody Dr. Nikita Sood, Oxford University Rahul Roy, Filmmaker Dr. Ayesha Kidwai Prof. Harbans Mukhia Adv. 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