SC rejects lawyers' last-ditch plea to stay Yakub Memon's execution

New Delhi: In a reiteration of its earlier order passed on Wednesday, the Supreme Court early on Thursday morning rejected a last ditch attempt by 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon to stall his execution by 14 days.

Memon had challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by the president.

The apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy heard the last ditch attempt by Memon to get some reprieve from his near-imminent execution.

Perhaps for the first time, in the early hours of Thursday, the Supreme Court heard a petition seeking a stay on the execution of death sentence at the court premises at such late hours of the night.

In the early hours of Thursday, a senior registrar of Supreme Court reached the residence of Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu in connection with exercising related to the hearing of the petition.

Earlier, senior lawyers, including Indira Jaising and Prashant Bhushan, late on Wednesday evening petitioned Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu for stay of Memon's execution for 14 days, putting forward three points in their plea.

The lawyers approached the CJI after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Memon's mercy plea. The other lawyers include Nitya Ramakrishnan, Yug Chaudhary, Vrinda Grover, who are present outside the CJI's residence.

Memon, convicted for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, is set to be hanged at 7 a.m. on Thursday in Nagpur jail with the rejection of his mercy plea.

The lawyers raised three points in their petition to the CJI - with the first being how could the president decide a mercy petition in such short time? The petition was moved at 10 a.m. and by evening, the president had referred it to the home ministry and a short while later, rejected it, they said.

Secondly, they raised the issue of changed circumstances raised in the mercy petition in which Memon had said he is suffering from schizophrenia for the past many years. The third point they raised was after the Maharashtra governor and President Mukherjee rejected the mercy plea, Memon should have been given 14 days time.

Memon, 53, filed a fresh mercy petition before President Mukherjee to escape the gallows. In the evening, President Mukherjee held discussions over the mercy plea with union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who advised him to reject the plea.

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