Friday, February 6, 2015

Yakub Memon Death Sentence – Why the delay ?

Mrityunjay Kumar

Dec 12, 2014

In a temporary relief to 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon, the Supreme Court has stayed the execution of his death penalty. This decision comes on the review plea filed by the death row convict in the Apex Court. Memon is sibling of the absconding mastermind of the blasts Tiger Memon and has been in custody for almost two decades.

While staying his hanging, a three judges bench headed by Justice AR Dave and comprising Justices J Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph posted the matter for next 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. Whatever be the decision of the court on January 28, but 1993 blast and all subsequent incidents of this kind were an attack on the pride of the nation and those evolved in perpetrating such a heinous crime must get severest punishment according to the law of the land.

Yakub’s brother Ibrahim Mushtaq Abdul Razak Nadim Memon, better known as Tiger Memon was a close associate of world’s one of the dreadest terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, both of them are living in Pakistan with changed identity and have been involved not only in anti-India activities but also in illegal trafficking of drugs, contract killings and terror activities. Tiger’s men including Yakub connived with Dawood Ibrahim to execute 1993 Mumbai blast, the biggest terror strike on Indian soil that time. Reports suggest that 257 people lost their life in the blast.

Yakub, a chartered accountant, may claim his innocence and his ignorance about his brother Tiger’s activities but the fact could not be overlooked that after hearing the case for more than a decade and going through many evidences, a TADA court in 2007 convicted him to death after finding him guilty of being involved in criminal conspiracy and managing financial transactions meant for the blasts. Later in March 2013, according to an Indian Express report, the SC had confirmed the death sentence awarded to Memon, holding him guilty of being the “driving spirit” behind the blasts that killed 257 people. The court had said that Memon’s “commanding position and the crime of utmost gravity” warranted capital punishment. Memon then moved a clemency petition before the President but the plea was turned down, given the seriousness of his crime.

Yakub’s crime is of very serious kind. Despite being the most educated member of his family, he agreed to assist Tiger to wage war against his mother land. Dawood and Tiger used his acumen in accounting to get funds for the blasts to kill innocent residents of Mumbai. The larger issue though here has to do with inordinate delays in carrying out Death Sentences in India and the message it sends. Especially in Terror cases, for the Death Penalty to be an effective instrument at the disposal of the State to deter potential terrorists, it needs to be executed swiftly and purporsefully with integrity and credibility to the process. The inordinate delay in carrying out Yakub Memon’s sentence sends the wrong message.

Source: [last accessed 06.02.2015] 

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