SC seals Yakub Memon's fate

gpur’s central jail ready with a rope and hangman as the 1993 Mumbai blasts convict exhausts all legal options to escape the noose


*    Crimil Conspiracy

*    Aiding, abetting and felicitating a terrorist act

*    Illegal possession and transportation of arms and ammunition

*    Possessing explosives with intent to endanger lives

New Delhi, July 29: Curtains came down on the legal battle of 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon as the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed his petition that sought a stay on his execution slated for July 30 and the quashing of death warrants issued on April 30.

"Issuance of death warrant cannot be faulted with," said abench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy, as it noted that after the apex court upheld his death sentence on March 21, 2013, Memon had availed all the judicial remedies by way of two review petitions, a curative petition and a mercy petition which was moved by his brother in 2013 and rejected by the president in 2014.

Pronouncing the order, Justice Misra said: "The issuance of death warrant is in order and we don't find any legal fallacy" with the issuance of death warrant by the TADA court on April 30, rejecting Memon's contention that it was issued even before he could have exhausted his legal remedies.

The submission by senior counsel Raju Ramachandran appearing for Memon that the court direction in Shabm case that a death row convict should be heard by the trial court at the time of issuing death warrants was not complied with too did not find favour with the bench, which noted the death warrant was issued by the TADA court on April 30 whereas apex court judgment in Shabm case was pronounced on May 27.

The court noted that Memon was intimated about the death warrant on July 13 which was more than mandatory the 14 days that has to be given before sending a death row convict to the gallows. The court also noted that during this period, his curative petition too was rejected by the apex court on July 21.

The court order came after a day-long hearing on the petition by Memon and also a reference by two judge-bench on the appropriateness of another bench that had heard Memon's curative petition and rejected it on July 21.

This reference was made following a split verdict between Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Kurien Joseph on Tuesday. The latter had questioned the appropriateness of the composition of the bench that had considered Memon's curative petition.

Dealing with the reference, the court said that the curative petition that "was decided by the three senior most judges cannot be regarded as void or ippropriate" in context of the principle that was laid down by the court in an earlier judgement known as Hurra case.

"Thus, we disagree with the views expressed by Justice Joseph at this juncture," the court said, holding that "dismissal of curative petition by the three senior most judges has to be regarded to be correct and not vitiated by any procedural irregularity".

Without saying anything on the second mercy petition moved by Memon before the Maharashtra governor after the rejection of his curative petition by the apex court on July 21, the court brought an end to the legal battle being waged by Memon challenging his death sentence.

Memon and 11 others were slapped with the death pelty by the special TADA court in July 2007 for the 1993 bomb blasts in which 257 people were killed and 712 were injured. The apex court had upheld it in his case in 2013.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on Wednesday rejected Memon's plea for clemency.


December 1992: Babri Masjid demolished by right-wing Hindu groups. More than 900 people,  mostly Muslims, killed in riots in Mumbai.

March 1993: Thirteen blasts take place in Mumbai. Among the prime targets of the attack are the Bombay Stock Exchange building, the Air India headquarters in south Mumbai and the Sahar Intertiol airport. The blasts are found to be the handiwork of Dawood Ibrahim and much of the planning for the attacks was done by the Memon family at their house in south Mumbai, according to the police.

Days before the blasts, members of the Memon family flew out to Dubai and later to Karachi.

Two days after the attack, police find an abandoned Maruti van with AK-56 rifles and hand gredes. The ownership of the vehicle is traced to Yakub's sister-in-law, Rubi. Yakub, the most-educated person in the Memon household, is accused of being behind the attacks.

A subsequent search at the Memon house leads to the recovery of the ignition key of the scooters that were used for carrying out the attacks.

April 1994: Yakub is arrested from New Delhi while his wife claims that he surrendered.

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