Yakub Memon: Supreme Court Verdict Awaited, Governor Rejects Mercy Plea
Yakub’s mercy plea is now with the President, who rejected it last year. Sources say much hinges on what the Supreme Court decides.
The Supreme Court has rejected Yakub’s argument that procedure was not correctly followed in his case. Yakub had asked the court to stop his hanging scheduled for tomorrow, on grounds that rules were violated.
Yakub’s lawyer had told the court that the death warrant for his execution is illegal because it was issued in April, before he had exhausted every legal option; his curative petition challenging the Supreme Court’s ruling had not been heard then. It was rejected last week.
His lawyers also argued that Yakub was informed only 17 days before his hanging date, even though the warrant was issued on April 30.
The chartered accountant is to be hanged at a jail in Nagpur at 7 am on Thursday – his 54th birthday – for his role in the deadly terror attack in which 257 people were killed in blasts at various landmarks across Mumbai.
Some of the victims of the 1993 blast met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today and said that Yakub must be hanged without delay. “I have signatures of 1,600 people – given in just two hours – who all want Yakub to be hanged,” said Tushar Deshmukh, who lost his mother in the blasts.
A two-judge bench yesterday differed on whether to stop Yakub’s execution. Justice Anil Dave said it must not be stopped. The other judge, Justice Kurien Joseph said that there had been a clear violation of procedure and “such technicality should not stand in the way to protect the life of a person.”
Of the 11 sentenced to death for the terror attack, Yakub was the only convict not granted mercy.
A group of eminent citizens, including politicians, jurists and retired judges, had also asked the President to grant mercy to Yakub, arguing that in comparison, “the other 10 planted the bombs and played a much more critical and direct role.”
Yakub’s brother Tiger Memon, the main accused along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has been missing since 1993.