Thursday, April 9, 2015

1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: SC dismisses plea of Yakub Memon seeking review of death sentence

Amit Anand Choudhary,TNN | Apr 9, 2015, 10.45 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed plea of Yakub Memon, seeking review of death sentence awarded to him in 1993 Mumbai blasts case. The apex court order paves the way for Memon's execution, which was stayed after he filed review petition in the Supreme Court. Memon is the sole death convict in 1993 blasts case, in which around 257 lost their lives after a series of bomb blasts rocked Mumbai. Memon's case was that the courts have not given any special reasons for sending him to the gallows. The apex court had in 2013 commuted death sentence of 10 convicts who had parked explosives—laden vehicles at various places in Mumbai, to life term by distinguishing their roles from that of Memon.

Dealing with the case of Memon, a chartered accountant by profession and brother of proclaimed offender Tiger Memon, the court had said he was the "driving force" and a "mastermind" behind the blasts. The designated trial court under the repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act had in 2006 held Memon guilty of criminal conspiracy and financing air tickets to send co-conspirators for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. Memon, who sources said, is not keeping good health and is under medication in Nagpur jail, had 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.

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: [last accessed 09 April 2015]

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