NEW DELHI: An officer, attached with SC as Deputy Registrar resigned, protesting against the apex court’s decision to throw out two successive petitions by 1993 serial blasts convict Yakub Memon seeking stay of his execution.
Arun Sunderanath, Dy. Registrar Research, Supreme Court of India.
Anup Surendranath, who was on a one-year contract with the SC from May this year as a deputy registrar to guide research work, said he was disillusioned by the July 29 and July 30 pre-dawn orders rejecting Yakub’s pleas and termed it as “judicial abdication” of its role to protect right to life of one and all. His one-year contract from May 2014 was renewed for another year. His resignation had a tinge of personal grievance attached to it.
He was also the project director of Delhi National Law University’s Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, which had also intervened with Yakub in seeking stay of the execution.
During the arguments, Surendranath was seen in the court room giving instructions to junior counsel who in turn briefed senior advocate T R Andhyarujina. The NLU’s research wing had argued that hanging of Parliament Attack case condemned prisoner Afzal Guru was grossly wrong and that it should not be repeated in Yakub’s case.
The day the SC dismissed Yakub’s final petition paving the way for his execution, he had said: “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 29th July and 5am on 30th July (and the reasoning adopted therein) are instances of judicial abdication that must count amongst the darkest hours for the Supreme Court of India.”
“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 has written on the social media.
Asked whether it was correct on the part of a law graduate to protest through resignation whenever a court judicially did not agree with him, Surendranath said it might not be correct but he had been contemplating to quit the job for some time to regain freedom to express his views without being bound by the contract he had with the apex court.
He told TOI that he had actively assisted the intervention petition filed by the Delhi NLU seeking stay of Yakub’s execution and the SC’s refusal to stay the death warrant was a “very disappointing” development.
Surendranath was taken on a year’s contract to assist research in apex court during the tenure of Justice R M Lodha as Chief Justice of India. His contract was renewed for another year by CJI H. L. Dattu this May.
Shabab Khan (Researched Story)