Mumbai: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya on Thursday praised the Supreme Court for upholding its decision to go ahead with the death sentence of 1993 Mumbai blasts death row convict Yakub Memon.
Talking to ANI here, Somaiya said, "Democracy (in India) is alive. The Supreme Court upheld its duty."
Somaiya was speaking as security was beefed up around the Memon residence in Mumbai.
Earlier, lawyer Abha Singh said that politicians and the political parties that they represent are dividing the nation by making irresponsible statements on the mercy plea of 1993 Mumbai blasts death row convict Yakub Memon.
Abha Singh told ANI, "Listen, the mercy petition is the duty of Supreme Court, and, that is why they were forced to sit the entire night to deliberate on it. Politicians and political parties are trying to divide this nation, I think this was the reason why the Supreme Court didn't want to delay the death penalty. This will send a message against the terrorism."
She further told ANI, "The way the preparations are going in Nagpur, it can be assumed that he will be hanged."
"The Supreme Court has dismissed the mercy petition looking at the situation that is going on in our country, like the attack in Gurdaspur."
Singh's comments came after the apex court, following an unprecedented middle of the night hearing, dismissed Yakub Memon's last ditch plea seeking a stay on his execution.
Yakub Memon was hanged at the Nagpur Central Jail at 6.30 am today.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C Pant and Justice Amitava Roy heard Yakub Memon's plea against his execution.
"We don't think in a case of this nature, granting further time is necessary," said Justice Dipak Misra.
He had stated that the execution warrant was communicated to Yakub Memon on July 13, 2015 and ample opportunity was given to him to present his case.
"Petitioner Yakub Memon never disowned the mercy petition filed by his brother. Review petition for Yakub Memon was heard for 10 days when the law mandates that only half hour has to be given," he added.
While Yakub Memon's lawyer Anand Grover said the former must get 14 days to challenge rejection of mercy plea by the President, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had stated that if mercy petitions are filed over and over again, death warrants will never be executed.
President Pranab Mukherjee had earlier rejected Yakub Memon's mercy plea.
The Supreme Court had also rejected his petition on his death warrant.
The apex court had earlier also dismissed the curative petition of Yakub, saying proper procedure was followed in disposing of Yakub's curative petition.