Did you know opposition VP candidate GopalKrishna Gandhi supported Yakub Memon

Ayupp
image source wikimedia

New Delhi: India will be getting the next Vice president today and a deputy president to Ramnath kovind. There are two people standing for this constitutional post. First is the BJP VP candidate Venkaiah Naidu and the other is GopalKrishna Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and former West Bengal Governor.

What is the Controversy related to GopalKrishna Gandhi

GopalKrishna Gandhi the UPA’s Vice President candidate had written to the President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015 for the clemency for Yakub Memon.  

“Madam ji, you appointed Gopalkrishna Gandhi, as the Vice-President nominee, who used all his power to save Yakub Memon from death penalty” said Shiv sena MP Sanjay Singh Raut.

For GopalKrishna Gandhi support many people from the different section of the society also endorsed like MPs, jurists and even filmmakers and actors like Mahesh Bhatt and Naseeruddin Shah supported for the mercy of Yakub Memon who was hanged on 30 July 2015.

More about the petition by Gopal Krishna Gandhi

In 2015, a mercy petition with the Governor of Maharashtra (Gopalkrishna Gandhi) and then filed a Writ before the Supreme Court of India for a stay on his execution till the mercy petition is decided. He claimed that the death warrant was illegal, as it had been issued before he had exhausted all his legal avenues of appeal. The capital punishment given to Yakub Memon has been criticized by a few eminent personalitities, including Salman Khan, Research and Analysis Wing officer B. Raman, former Supreme Court judge Justice H. S. Bedi, Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, Hussain Zaidi, Ram Jethmalani, Asaduddin Owaisi, R. Jagannathan and a few Muslim bodies, who asked for implementation of the Srikrishna Commission report. On 26 July 2015, a petition was handed over by some eminent personalities and political leaders to President Mukherjee to reconsider Memon's mercy plea.

Who was Yakub Abdul Razak Memon

Yakub Abdul Razak Memon (Yakub Abdul Rajak Memon)  was a terrorist who was convicted over his involvement in the 1993 Bombay bombings by Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities court on 27 July 2007.

Yakub Memon was the brother of one of the prime suspects in the bombings, Tiger Memon. His appeals and petitions for clemency were all rejected and he was executed by hanging on 30 July 2015 in Nagpur jail.

Here’s the full text of Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s letter, which he had shared with the press, to President Mukherjee:

The President of India,

Esteemed Rashtrapati ji.

Namaskar.

At this point in time, when the nation is paying solemn tribute to former President (Dr.) A.P.J. Abdul Kalam whose conscientious opposition to the death penalty is widely known, I urge you to reconsider the rejection of Yakub Memon’s mercy plea. In fact, President Kalam had, as recently as earlier this month, expressed his opposition to the concept of capital punishment. He expressed this opinion to the Law Commission, which has been holding deliberations regarding the desirability and efficacy of the death penalty. It would, I suggest, be a fitting tribute to the humane legacy of President Kalam to grant Yakub Memon his life, for which course there are also other compelling reasons.

It was in 1997 that Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma the President of India, upon an appeal by Mahashweta Devi and other eminent citizens granted reprieve to two boys from Andhra Pradesh, though their own mercy petitions had earlier been rejected by the President’s office. The reprieve in that case came virtually on the eve of their scheduled execution, and established the supreme constituent power of the President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution, to reverse his earlier decision, and heed voices of conscience to commute a death sentence.

Yakub Memon submitted to Indian jurisdiction, when he may quite easily have evaded justice. A respected officer of Indian intelligence has spoken of his cooperation with the law, thus rendering the death penalty completely inappropriate in his case. Former Supreme Court judges have openly said that his execution would be unjust. Public protestations of this nature and from such quarters are rare. They must give us pause, for whether or not there was a secret understanding with Memon that is being disregarded, a doubt would irretrievably be cast on India’s integrity of process if in the face of this, Yakub Memon is executed.

As many as 300 persons from all walks of life including former judges, lawyers, politicians and others have appealed to Your Excellency.

The head of the Indian republic, as President K.R. Narayanan memorably said, is guided by the prerogatives the Constitution gives him, and the privilege of intervention which his vast moral influence confers on him. I understand that this is also the broad position in law as enunciated in the Kehar Singh judgment of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.

Less than a fortnight ago, the Law Commission of India held a day long consultation on Capital Punishment. I cannot say what conclusions the Law Commission will draw from these deliberations. I can, however, suggest that this, and other cases where mercy is sought will be understood more fully once the deliberations of the Commission are received.

I am sharing this letter with the press as this is a matter of urgent, general and public interest.

In the confidence that you will consider this representation, I am,

Yours truly,

Gopalkrishna Gandhi



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