The Supreme Court deferred by a day its hearing of a petition by 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon seeking a stay on his execution set for July 30. The top court will continue hearing it on Tuesday.
The Maharastra government said Memon, brother of prime accused Tiger Memon, was given a week’s time to file a curative petition before the Supreme Court after his review plea was dismissed.
The top court was hearing a petition by Yakub– the sole death row convict in the case – where he contended he hadn’t exhausted all legal remedies available, saying a trial court issued a death warrant while his curative petition was pending before the top court.
“ We couldn’t have waited for five years for Yakub to file a curative petition,” A-G Mukul Rohatgi told the top court.
On July 21, the SC rejected a curative petition by Yakub, saying it was void of merit. On the same day, he filed a mercy petition before the Maharashtra governor seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment, putting a question mark on his scheduled execution at the Nagpur Central Jail on July 30, the day he turns 53.
The apex court by its March 21, 2013 verdict upheld his death sentence while commuting the death sentence of 10 others (one having died subsequently) to life imprisonment. The court on April 9 again dismissed Yakub's plea for the review of his death sentence, as it had earlier dismissed a similar plea seeking a recall of its March verdict.
Yakub and 11 others were slapped with the death penalty by the special TADA court in July 2007 for the dozen explosions that ripped through India's financial capital, killing nearly 260 people at various landmarks and leaving more than 700 injured.
Yakub, a chartered accountant and the only well-educated member of the Memon family, was found guilty of criminal conspiracy, arranging money for buying vehicles used by the bombers and organising air tickets to Dubai for some of them. He has for long said that he had no direct participation in planning or executing the bombings.
He has been behind bars since 1994, when the CBI purportedly arrested him in Kathmandu. Sources in the Mumbai Police department said he had returned voluntarily. Tiger Memon, along with mob boss Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees Ibrahim, are considered to be the key conspirators behind the 1993 blasts.
Indian investigators have accused Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI of aiding the plotters, an allegation that Islamabad has denied. Both Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim are believed to be holed up in the neighbouring country.