Sunday, July 26, 2015

Clemency for Yakub Memon?

There is a lot of demand from articulate sections that the death sentence on Yakub Memon should be commuted to life sentence.  There is unanimity that he is guilty, but these articulate persons are of the view that he is not guilty enough to face the gallows.

Mr.B.Raman, a former RAW official, had opined that Yakub Memon's life should be spared because he was co-operative and with his assistance, we could make headway in cracking the case.

Some advocates of leniency have put a spin on Raman's plea and have concluded that Yakub Memon had surrendered of his own volition and that there was a deal between him and the government that he would not face death sentence. Facts seem to be otherwise. Memon was taken into custody in Kathmandu by the Nepalese security forces because of his suspicious behaviour and after investigation, he was packed off to Delhi. Given this fact, any 'deal' with the government of India was unnecessary and unlikely.

It is note-worthy that he did not refer to any such understanding in the court proceedings at any stage.

Mr.Raman based his plea for clemency on the basis of Yakub Memon's co-operation. In a dastardly crime, co-operation of the guilty is not a ground for leniency. A murderer is not entitled to lesser punishment simply because of confession and enumeration of crime details.

It is true that many persons on the death row have obtained relief from the court. Each case is unique and cannot act as an unexceptional precedent for others.

Shouldn't an opportunity be given to Yakub Memon to reform himself and turn a new leaf? This argument is fallacious because he is too well-educated to have been unaware of the consequences of his action. Ancient Indian jurisprudence required a more deterrent punishment for the educated criminals.

It is pleaded that he is sought to be executed because he is a brother of Tiger Memon who was the brain behind the bomb blasts and who is now absconding. The Supreme Court has judged him on his conduct and not as a brother of Tiger Memon. Relationship with the latter cannot conveniently be trotted out as a mitigating factor.

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