SC deputy registrar quits over judgement on Yakub Memon

(From Press Trust of India)

A Supreme Court Deputy Registrar has resigned attacking the judgement clearing the death penalty for 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon, saying two decisions within a span of hours are instances of “judicial abdication”  that should count among the “darkest hours” of the apex court.

Prof. Anup Surendranath

Prof. Anup Surendranath

Prof. Anup Surendranath, Deputy Registrar (Research), who was appointed  more than a year ago on contract, resigned on July 30,  the day Memon was hanged to death two hours after the court had upheld the death warrant.

His resignation, which has come in the midst of a raging debate over death penalty and whether it should be used as a form of the State avenging a crime, has been accepted and he has been relieved, court sources said.

There are nearly 20 deputy registrars, a few of whom have been inducted from outside judiciary.

“It would be silly and naive to see the events of the last 24 hours at the Supreme Court as some triumph of the rule of law — the two orders at 4 pm on 29 July and 5 am on 30 July (and the reasoning adopted therein) are instances of judicial abdication that must count among the darkest hours for the Supreme Court of India,” Surendranath said on July 30.

Surendranath is  a faculty member of National Law University, Delhi, and Director of Death Penalty Research Project. He was also associated with the filing of the petition for stay of Memon’s death warrant.

“I have been contemplating this for a while now for a variety of reasons, but what was played out this week at the Supreme Court was the proverbial final nail — I have resigned from my post at the Supreme Court to focus on death penalty work at the University.

“It is in many ways liberating to regain the freedom to write whatever I want and I hope to make full use of that in the next few days to discuss the events that transpired at the Supreme Court this week,” he wrote on the social networking site.

When contacted, he said he has nothing more to state than what he has posted on his  site.

 ‘Make Yakub’s wife MP’
Yakub Memon's wife Raheen

Yakub Memon’s wife Raheen

Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Farooq Ghosi was suspended from party Saturday for stirring a controversy by requesting party chief  Mulayam Singh Yadav to nominate Yakub’s wife as a Rajya Sabha (Upper House) MP, agencies reported earlier in the day.

Two days after Yakub was hanged in the Nagpur Central Jail, Ghosi, the Maharashtra state’s SP unit vice president, described his wife Raheen as “helpless”.

“Raheen was in jail for many years. How much she would have suffered… Today I find Raheen helpless and there are many such Muslims in the country who find themselves helpless and for whom we have to fight for. We should make Raheen a Rajya Sabha MP and make her the voice of weak and helpless people,” Ghosi said in a letter to the SP chief.

State party president Abu Asim Azmi said Ghosi had not consulted the party before making such irresponsible comments.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the decision to hang Yakub was taken by the Supreme Court and should, thus, not be politicized.

BJP leader Madhav Bhandari said Ghosi’s comments prove that SP is only interested in playing vote-bank politics.


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