A.P. Shah’s censure

Print edition : October 02, 2015

Justice A.P Shah. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, speaking to The Indian Express after he demitted office as Chairman of the Law Commission of India, came out strongly against the manner in which the government and the Supreme Court handled the mercy plea and the petition filed by Yakub Memon. He said: “Both the executive and the judiciary didn’t perform their duty completely and transparently.”

“I have so far refrained from speaking on this issue as I was holding this post. But now I can speak freely. I don’t know what was the great hurry to hang him. This is not the sign of a vibrant democracy. The manner in which the Supreme Court handled the case, holding a hearing predawn, also was not good. It was almost as if the judiciary was trying to stick to the deadline to hang him. This hanging has alienated an entire community. Look at the crowd that came to attend his burial. Unfortunately, the signal that has gone out is that there are two sets of rules for dealing with such cases—one for killers like Rajiv Gandhi’s and another for those from the minority community like Yakub Memon. This is very unfortunate,” he added.

The report written by Maneesh Chibber (http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/afzal-guru-yakub-memon-hangings-send-signals-of-weak-govt-justice-ajit-prakash-shah/) stated that Justice Shah elaborating on the role of the judiciary pointed out that several important factors were ignored while deciding Yakub Memon’s case and the mercy petition.

“The governments may have an ideology but it should have absolutely no impact on the judiciary. Were all grounds taken into consideration while deciding his mercy plea? My feeling is that the due process was not followed,” he said.

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