Yakub Memon moves SC, seeks stay on his hanging

NEW DELHI: The serial blasts in March 1993 had left 257 dead and over 700 injured. Yakub Memon is the only convict whose death sentence was upheld by the SC

Yakub Memon, the lone death-row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking an immediate stay on the execution of his death sentence, scheduled for July 30

Yakub Memon, the lone death-row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking an immediate stay on the execution of his death sentence, scheduled for July 30. In his criminal writ petition, Memon said that his death warrant was issued by a TADA court in Mumbai even though he had not exhausted all the legal remedies available to him.  He said he had now approached the Governor of Maharashtra with a plea for mercy.

His petition also contended that the death warrant did not adhere to the procedure and guidelines as it was issued by the trial court even before his curative petition was heard and decided by the Supreme Court. The death warrant was issued in the last week of April, whereas Memon’s curative petition was dismissed on July 21.

The petition also cited the Supreme Court’s decision relating to death warrants issued to a couple from Uttar Pradesh. In May, the apex court had quashed the death warrants issued by a sessions court in Amroha, stating that the warrants were “signed in haste” without following proper guidelines. The couple, Shabnam and Salim, were sentenced to death for killing seven members of the former’s family in 2008. Less than a week after the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence on May 15, the sessions court issued death warrants on May 21. But, according to the law, the convicts should be allowed 30 days to file review petitions. Further, they can file curative petitions and pleas for clemency.

In his plea, Memon said that he has liberty to file a curative petition as well as a clemency plea before the Governor, but the trial court issued the warrant in haste, bypassing the norms laid down by the top court. He also claimed that he was not keeping well and therefore could not be hanged in the current medical condition as per the established procedure. Memon’s petition is likely to be mentioned on Friday for an urgent hearing.