A Supreme Court bench was on Tuesday hearing Yakub Memon’s petition, a day after it appeared split over staying the death sentence given to him for his role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
Legal experts said Memon is unlikely to be executed on July 30 even if his petitions before the Supreme Court and the Maharashtra governor are dismissed because of an existing apex court ruling that there must be a 14-day gap between the dismissal of a mercy plea and the execution.
So, what are the probable scenarios for the lone convict sentenced to death for the 1993 Mumbai blasts?
The outcome of two petitions is awaited by Memon - one, the petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the death sentence, and the other, a mercy petition pending with the Maharashtra governor.
If the Supreme Court bench dismisses Memon’s petition, he will be hanged but only after the petition is rejected.
If the apex court allows the petition, Memon's hanging will be stayed. But he can be executed later, depending on the outcome of the mercy petition.
If the mercy petition is dismissed, two scenarios can emerge – one, Memon does not appeal and he is hanged after 14 days, and second, Memon files another appeal in the Supreme Court and awaits the outcome. He can be hanged if this appeal is dismissed.
Experts said that the mercy petition is unlikely to be allowed given the Maharashtra governor’s stand.
The Supreme Court bench of Justices AR Dave and Kurien Joseph had divergent views, with the latter questioning the court's July 21 order rejecting Memon’s curative petition.
Dave felt Memon had exhausted all his legal remedies and his current petition was a futile exercise. Joseph, however, said he should have been part of the bench that heard Memon's curative petition as he was one of the three judges who rejected Memon’s review petition on April 9.
Hundreds of politicians, jurists and activists appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday to spare Memon, adding fuel to a raging debate on whether he should be hanged.