The Maharashtra government has recommended rejection of the mercy petition of the 1993 Mumbai serial blast convict Yakub Memon and the Union home ministry is expected to send its concurrence to President Pranab Mukherjee soon.
So far, Yakub is the only convict in the serial blast case whose death sentence was confirmed by the SC. Yakub is younger brother of Tiger Memon, the alleged mastermind of the blasts that claimed 257 lives.
In March 2013, while upholding the Mumbai TADA court’s death sentence to Yakub, the Supreme Court had said, “It is not a hyperbole to state that he was one of the driving spirits behind the plan”.
Memon later sought the presidential pardon and the MHA asked for the views of the Maharashtra government. The file is now awaiting final clearance from home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is likely to approve the recommendation, said home ministry sources.
“Yakub was caught from the Kathmandu airport in July 1994, when he had gone to consult a lawyer about surrendering,” said a former CBI official.
“Had he not decided to come back, we would never have got the full picture about Pakistan’s complicity in the case,” said Neeraj Kumar, former Delhi police commissioner who supervised the probe during a stint in CBI. “I hope while deciding his mercy plea, the government considers the circumstances in which he came back.”