NEW DELHI -- President Pranab Mukherjee rejected a fresh mercy petition filed by 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon on Wednesday night. Memon is now scheduled to be hanged to death on Thursday morning at 7 am.
However, Memon's lawyers have moved Supreme Court seeking stay on his execution for 14 days, as an earlier Supreme Court verdict says that a 14-day gap must be given after rejecting the mercy plea of a death row convict before he is executed. This is to allow the convict to mentally prepare himself for his execution and meet with family.
“It is necessary that a minimum period of 14 days be stipulated between the receipt of communication of the rejection of the mercy petition and the scheduled date of execution,” according to a January 2014 verdict at the SC.
According to multiple reports, Mukherjee rejected the plea late Wednesday night after referring the matter first to the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier today. Home Minister Rajnath Singh later called the President conveying the government's view that the mercy petition should be rejected.
Singh is believed to have come to the decision after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh and top officials, including Home Secretary L C Goyal at the PM's residence earlier on Wednesday evening. The President acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
Law Secretary P K Malhotra too had held discussions on the issue with the Home Secretary earlier today. Rashtrapati Bhavan is yet to make its decision public, even as Memon's execution is scheduled hours away.
Memon is supposed to be hanged at Nagpur jail after the Supreme Court dismissed his petition against the death warrant on the ground that it was issued before his curative plea was heard by the court.
(with PTI inputs)