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Friday, July 31, 2015

Lawyer says Supreme Court made a 'tragic mistake'

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s a battle that will aim to ensure that death row convicts in a similar situation “do not suffer”
The hangman did his job, and Yakub Memon is dead. But it seems a fight will continue nonetheless.

It’s a battle that will aim to ensure that death row convicts in a similar situation “do not suffer”. And leading the battle will be Anand Grover, the senior Supreme Court lawyer who represented Memon in two crucial hearings. 

The eminent lawyer feels that by dismissing Memon’s mercy plea just two hours before his execution on Thursday, the apex court committed a “tragic mistake”. 

“Supreme Court committed a tragic mistake. Yakub Memon did not get time to come to peace with his own  god, come to peace with his own soul and even settle the will with his family. He may be dead but I will still move the apex court so that convicts in identical situations do not suffer. I hope the Supreme Court will change this norm,” Grover told.

Memon, the lone convict to be sentenced to death in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, was hanged to death in the Nagpur Central Prison at 6.43am on Thursday after a day of intense court room action and an unprecedented night-long legal proceeding in the Supreme Court. 

Apparently the country’s apex court wanted to send across an impression that it will not stand in the way of anybody who wanted to exhaust his last legal remedy. 

“It was a tragic mistake and a wrong decision. The authorities were hell bent on executing him without giving him the right to challenge the rejection of his mercy petition by the President as right to life of a condemned prisoner lasts till his last breath,” Grover said. 

He questioned how the apex court accepted the argument of the Modi government’s Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that Memon had one-and-a-half years to file the curative petition, the last legal remedy available to a death convict, when the second official review petition was dismissed only on April 9, 2015. 

“When the apex court allowed hearing of the review petition in an open court in Mohammad Arif’s case it is a continuation of the process. At that stage the earlier review petition need not be counted,” Grover said. 

Memon should have been given a chance to challenge the rejection of the mercy plea by the Maharashtra Governor and President Pranab Mukherjee which was his right, Grover said. He had a right to go to the court and challenge it, he added. 

“It is totally unacceptable how the two executive authorities could reject overnight the mercy petitions which had cited new grounds like the convict suffering from schizophrenia and his good conduct in the jail,” Grover said. 

The President should also have considered the fact that the mercy petition moved by the convict on Wednesday was the first by himself and all the earlier ones were by his relatives including his brother.

“In the historic judgment in Shatrughan Chauhan case the court ruled that in cases of death sentence if there is undue delay in execution then the sentence can be reduced to life imprisonment. It had said that after a mercy petition is rejected one has every chance to challenge it,” said Grover. 

“Apparently, the fear of the court and the authorities was if they allow a stay we would have challenged the mercy plea and it could get dragged on and the execution could get delayed. But remember it was our right,” said Memon’s lawyer. 

In a last-ditch effort to save Memon from the gallows and get the hanging fixed for 7am deferred, Memon’s battery of eminent lawyers - Prashant Bhushan, Nitya Ramakrishnan Yug Chaudhary and Vrinda Grover - cited the Maharashtra Jail Manual that mandated seven days gap between rejection of mercy petition or curative petition and execution of a convict. 

They also reminded the court about the 14-day gap between the day of rejection of mercy plea and execution, but it literally fell on deaf ears. 

They vehemently argued that these rulings are being violated, but the apex court was not impressed. 

Grover was of the view that the three-judge bench which finally dismissed Memon’s plea should not have totally ignored the conclusion of Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the judges in the earlier Bench that there was a procedural lapse in the way the convict’s curative petition was heard. 

“He should have got a benefit of doubt. There should have been a relook as Justice Kurian suggested. What was the hurry in hanging and decision making? It was after all an issue of taking the life of a man. As the old saying goes, if you cannot give life you cannot take a life,” said Grover. 

Yakub Memon’s hanging protested

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

Youths Outside  J&K Mosque protested Yakub Memon’s hanging

Symbolic Picture
Mumbai born Terrorist Yakub Memon’s hanging was protested on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir. A few youths outside the mosque after prayers on Friday waved the Pakistani, the ISIS, and Laskar-e-Tayyaba flags.
 In the downtown of Srinagar there have been such incidents about waving flags of Pakistan and the ISIS before. It was 5TH attempt when the flags were waved after the Friday prayers. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chief of Hurriat Conference, said Yakub’s hanging had dubbed a political conspiracy. Chief of an organization, Aashia Andrabi, led the march in protest against Yakub’s hanging; they were chanting slogans against India; and pro-Pak.

Yakub Memon accused of Mumbai bomb blasts hanged

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

Yakub Memon accused of Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993 was hanged till death on Thursday morning  6.30 am  at Nagpur Central Jail and buried in Bada Kabristan(big cemetery). Yakub was buried in his father’s grave.
The body of deceased was assigned to his kin, but the publicly funeral was not allowed. According to the rites the Namaz was prayed before Yakub’s burial and the spot overcrowding delayed the funeral.
The Mumbai police had forbidden to the photo or the videography of Yakub’s body. There were deployed about 35 thousand police personnel outside Yakub’s home. The body was taken to Mahim Yakub’s home away from Mumbai airport for a short time, so that the women of home can see traditionally the body.
The body after that was buried in Bada Kabristan at marine lines. Mumbai police commissioner, Rakesh Maria, meanwhile reached Yakub’s home. There were strong safeties near Yakub’s home in Mumbai under Mahim area after the hanging. Two platoons of rapid action force were deployed to control the situation. The police under patrolling were deployed every corner of the city later.
The hanging process as scheduled program began about 5 am morning in central jail Nagpur. Yogesh Desai, jail superintendent, self hanged him. The death sentence after several efforts by defendant in mid-night of Wednesday and Thursday was failed from reprieve to hang. The Supreme Court heard mid-night the application was moved; but it refused to allow the application to retreat the hanging for next 14 days.
The strong safeties in the big city of the countries including Nagpur and Mumbai have been deployed. The section 144 has been imposed near jail.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pay Homage to body of APJ Abdul Kalam

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli,
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in Rameswram in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. His father's name was Jainulabudeen, a boat owner, and his mother Ashiamma, a housewife. He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to supplement his family's income. After completing school, Kalam distributed newspapers to contribute to his father's income. In his school years he had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn and spend hours on his studies, especially mathematics.  After completing his education at the Ramanathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in Physics in 1954.

Great Indian From Madras University

Univesity of Madras

Towards the end of the course, he was not enthusiastic about the subject and would later regret the four years he studied it. He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, "I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline". He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF. After graduating from themMadras Institute of Tecnology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. He started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian
Srinivas Ramanujan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO. Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR Committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the ohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980; Kalam had first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government's approval and expanded the programme to include more engineers.
Kalam addresses engineering students at IIT Guwhati In 1963–64, he visited NASA's Langley Research Crntre in Hompton, Virginia, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and Wallop Flight Facility . Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satelite Launching Vehicle   (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
MS Swaminathan
CV Raman

VS Ramachandran
Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the country's first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as the representative of TBRL, even though he had not participated in its development. In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant, which sought to develop ballistic missiles 
from the technology of the successful SLV programme. Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam's directorship. Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects. His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige in the 1980s, which prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile programme under his directorship. Kalam and Dr V S Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, worked on the suggestion by the then Defence Minister, R.Venkatraman on a proposal for simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one after another. R Venkatraman was instrumental in getting the cabinet approval for allocating Rs.388 crores for the mission, named Integrated Guide Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and appointed Kalam as the chief executive. Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the mission including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile, although the projects have been criticised for mismanagement and cost and time overruns.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Viswanathan Anand
Indra Nooyi
Prof Raj Reddy
Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period in which he played an intensive political and technological role. Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram, during the testing phase. Media coverage of Kalam during this period made him the country's best known nuclear scientist. However, the director of the site test, K Santhanam, said that the thermonuclear bomb had been a "fizzle" and criticisied Kalam for issuing an incorrect report. Both Kalam and Chidambaram dismissed the claims.

In 1998, along with cardiology Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the "Kalam-Raju Stent". In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the "Kalam-Raju Tablet".


Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K.R. Narayanan. He won the  with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing the 107,366 votes won by Laxmi Sahgal. He served from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
On 10 June 2002, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which was in power at the time, expressed that they would nominate Kalam for the post of President, and both the Samajwadi Party and the National Congress Party backed his candidacy. After the Samajwadi Party announced its support for Kalam, Narayanan chose not to seek a second term in office, leaving the field clear. Kalam said of the announcement of his candidature:
I am really overwhelmed. Everywhere both in Internet and in other media, I have been asked for a message. I was thinking what message I can give to the people of the country at this juncture.
On 18 June, Kalam filed his nomination papers in the Indian Parliament, accompanied by Vajpayee and his senior Cabinet colleagues.
In this file photo Prime Minister AB Vajpayee, flanked by APJ Abdul Kalam and R Chidambaram 
inspects the site of the nuclear fission blast at Pokhran in Thar desert . (PTI photo)
Kalam along with Vladimir Putin and Manmohan Singh during his presidency
The polling for the presidential election began on 15 July 2002 in Parliament and the state assemblies, with the media claiming that the election was a one-sided affair and Kalam's victory was a foregone conclusion; the count was held on 18 July. Kalam became the 11th president of the Republic of India in an easy victory, and moved into the Rastrapati Bhavan after he was sworn in on 25 July. Kalam was the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, before becoming the President. Dr. Servepalli Radhakrishnan (1954) and Dr.Zakir Hussain (1963) were the earlier recipients of Bharat Ratna who later became the President of India. He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rastrapati Bhawan.
Swearing Ceremony
During his term as president, he was affectionately known as the People's President, saying that signing the Office of Profit Bill was the toughest decision he had taken during his tenure. Kalam was criticised for his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 out of the 21 mercy petitions submitted to him during his tenure. Article 72 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to grant pardons, and suspend or commute the death sentence of convicts on death row. Kalam acted on only one mercy plea in his five-year tenure as president, rejecting the plea of rapist Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later hanged. Perhaps the most notable plea was from Afzal Guru a Kashmiri terrorist who was convicted of conspiracy in the December  2001 attack in Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. While the sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006, the pending action on his mercy plea resulted in him remaining on death row.
Close talk with (PM) AB Bajpai
In September 2003, in an interactive session in PGI Chandigarh, Kalam supported the need of Uniform Civil Code in India, keeping in view the population of the country.
Kalam was found guilty of violating the oath of his office by the Supreme Court of India for imposing presidential rule in Bihar state on 23 May 2005. Though he was protected from prosecution during his presidential term under article 361 of the constitution, he was liable to be prosecuted after his presidential term for violating the constitution of India.\
At the end of his term, on 20 June 2007, Kalam expressed his willingness to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty about his victory in the 2007 presidential election. However, two days later, he decided not to contest the Presidential election again stating that he wanted to avoid involving Rastrapati  Bhawan from any political processes. He did not have the support of the left parties, Shivsena and UPA constituents, to receive a renewed mandate.

Nearing the expiry of the term of the 12th President Pratibha Patil on 24 July 2012, media reports in April claimed that Kalam was likely to be nominated for his second term. After the reports, social networking site were notable for people supporting his candidature. The BJP potentially backed his nomination, saying that the party would lend their support if the Trinmool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Indian National Congress proposed him for the 2012 presidential election. A month ahead of the election, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamta Benerjee also expressed their support for Kalam. Days afterwards, Mulayam Singh Yadav backed out, leaving Mamata Banerjee as the solitary supporter. On 18 June 2012, Kalam declined to contest the 2012 presidential poll. He said of his decision not to do so:
Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish. It only reflects their love and affection for me and the aspiration of the people. I am really overwhelmed by this support. This being their wish, I respect it. I want to thank them for the trust they have in me.
Pay Homage to body of APJ Abdul Kalam
After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of  Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of  Management Ahemdabad and the Indian Institute of  Management Indore, Chancelor of the Indian Institute of Space Reaearch, professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University and an adjunct at many other academic and research institutions across India. and Kalam died on the evening of 27 July 2015 after suffering a massive heart attack while delivering a lecture on 'Livable Planet' at Indian Institute of Management Shillong. He was 83 years old.