Memon hearing sees spat between senior counsel

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Arguments in favour of and against Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon’s last-ditch plea against his death sentence in the Supreme Court on Wednesday saw heated arguments between opposing lawyers.

Senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, arguing for the NLU Delhi death penalty litigation clinic, told the bench that Memon could not be executed till his second mercy petition addressed to Maharashtra governor spelling out the changed circumstances for seeking the commutation of death sentence into life imprisonment was decided with reasons.

At this, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that this way, there would be no end to these mercy petitions as he referred to media reports saying that Memon has filed another mercy petition addressed to the president and media persons present in the court could confirm it.

Taking exception to his tone and tenor, Andhyarujina said: “You can’t ridicule a person just to be hanged tomorrow morning.”

Rohatgi hit back at Andhyarujina, asking why he “will not blame him for 257 deaths. He spread terror in the heart of the country”.

Andhyarujina, who stood his ground, said he was “talking about human beings” but Rohatgi retorted: “You are talking about traitors.”

At this, Andhyarujina said: “Let president say that he is a traitor” while adding that the law officer of the government “is not supposed to speak like that”.

He also noted that Memon’s death sentence is scheduled to be carried out on his birthday.

“July 30 happens to be his birthday,” he said, as he contended that the slated execution was “illegal and arbitrary” as it was in breach of the directions of the apex court in Shatrugan Chauhan and Shabnam case.

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