New Delhi: B Raman, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, had in 2007 said that the lone surviving convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Yakub Memon, does not deserved to be hanged, according to news portal Rediff.com
The portal put out what it said was an unpublished article written in 2007 by Raman. This came a week ahead of Yakub's schedule hanging at Nagpur Central Jail.
Raman headed the Pakistan desk in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) when he coordinated the operation to bring back Yakub and other members of the Memon family from Karachi.
The article said: "Yakub Memon secretly went to Kathmandu from Karachi to consult a relative and a lawyer on the advisability of some members of the Memon family, including himself, who felt uncomfortable with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, returning to India and surrendering to the Mumbai police. The relative and the lawyer advised him against surrender due to a fear that justice might not be done to them. They advised Yakub to go back to Karachi."
Before he could board the flight to Karachi, he was picked up by the Nepal police on suspicion, identified and rapidly moved to India, it said, adding that 'he cooperated with the investigating agencies and assisted them by persuading some other members of the Memon family to flee from the protection of the ISI in Karachi to Dubai and surrender to the Indian authorities'.
"The cooperation of Yakub with the investigating agencies after he was picked up informally in Kathmandu and his role in persuading some other members of the family to come out of Pakistan and surrender constitute, in my view, a strong mitigating circumstance to be taken into consideration while considering whether the death penalty should be implemented," he had written.
"There is not an iota of doubt about the involvement of Yakub and other members of the family in the conspiracy and their cooperation with the ISI till July 1994. In normal circumstances, Yakub would have deserved the death penalty if one only took into consideration his conduct and role before July 1994."
"But if one also takes into consideration his conduct and role after he was informally picked up in Kathmandu, there is a strong case for having second thoughts about the suitability of the death penalty in the subsequent stages of the case."
On July 21, a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had rejected Yakub's curative petition, saying the grounds raised by him do not fall within the principles laid down by the apex court in 2002.
Immediately after the verdict, Yakub moved a mercy plea before the Maharashtra Governor.
Yakub is one of the six convicts awaiting the gallows in the prison here, where his Delhi-based lawyer Subhail Farqooq, city-based advocate Anil Gedam and cousin Usman Memon met him during this week.
The 53-year-old death row convict yesterday moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of his execution saying that all his legal remedies have not been exhausted.