Death convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, received a breather on Monday after the Supreme Court stayed his execution and agreed to consider his plea on the ground that he remained incarcerated for 20 years due to protracted legal proceedings.
President Pranab Mukherjee had on May 21 rejected Memon’s mercy petition and the SC had on March 21, 2013 upheld his death penalty. Memon is the brother of Ibrahim Memon, better known as Tiger Memon, alleged mastermind of the blasts that left 257 dead and over 700 injured. He has been in jail since August 5, 1994.
SC stays execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts conspirator Yakub Memon
A vacation bench headed by justice JS Khehar referred his petition to the larger bench that will also look into the legal issue of whether review petitions in death penalty cases should be heard in open court and not in chambers. Review petitions are filed asking SC to reconsider its final verdict.
Memon’s case would be heard by the same constitution bench which has been assigned the task to hear Red Fort terror attack convict Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Mohd Arif’s case.
Memon’s lawyer Shubail Farook told HT: “He is suffering from schizophrenia since 1996 and the SC has held mental illness as one of the ground to commute death sentences to life.”
SC has sought state of Maharashtra, law ministry and its own registrar’s response on Memon’s petition that claims his execution would amount to subjecting him to both life imprisonment and death.