Swati Deshpande, TNN | Dec 11, 2014, 02.54AM IST
MUMBAI: In a relief to Yakub Memon, the lone death row convict in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI in a review plea he filed and stayed his hanging. Yakub Memon, younger brother of the absconding blasts mastermind Tiger Memon, has been in custody for almost two decades and is at present lodged in Nagpur prison.
A bench of three judges headed by Justice AR Dave and comprising Justices J Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph granted relief to Memon, whose death sentence the President of India had upheld earlier this year. Memon moved the SC again with a review petition against the death penalty. The SC three-judge bench posted it for hearing on January 28, 2015. "It is directed that death penalty shall not be executed till the pendency of the review petition," the judges said. Earlier on June 2, the vacation bench of the SC had stayed Memon's execution and asked that his review be listed for hearing.
Memon's case is that the courts have not given any special reasons for sending him to the gallows. The designated trial court under the repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act had in 2006 held him guilty of criminal conspiracy and financing air tickets to send co-conspirators for arms and RDX training to Pakistan. The conviction was based almost entirely on retracted confessions of the approvers and other co-accused.
The SC, in its 2013 judgment upholding the death sentence, had observed that "A-1 (Yakub Memon) assumed the role of Tiger Memon in India during his absence." Memon's case in the review plea is that the apex court does not refer to any independent evidence to show his role in the actual terrorist activities in the planning and execution stages.
Memon, who sources said is not keeping good health and is under medication in Nagpur jail, has sought commutation of the death penalty also on the grounds that he cannot be punished twice for the same offence since he has already served 20 years in prison.
Yakub Memon, younger brother of the absconding blasts mastermind Tiger Memon, has been in custody for almost two decades and is at present lodged in Nagpur prison. A chartered accountant, Memon has been in solitary confinement in a separate cell in Nagpur jail since his conviction in 2006. Prior to that, during trial, he was in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail since his return to India with his family to surrender in 1994. Neither Yakub nor any other member of his family confessed in the case. A constitution bench had earlier said a review plea must be given a hearing in an open court, and Memon sought just that.
Over 250 people died and more than 700 were injured in the blasts. Yakub's parents, his three brothers and sister-in-law had returned to India with him and were all tried. While his wife, mother and brother Suleiman were acquitted, Yakub, two brothers Essa and Yusuf and sister-in-law Rubeena were convicted and sentenced.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-stays-Yakub-Memons-execution-in-1993-blasts-case/articleshow/45464270.cms [last accessed 06.02.2015]