Supreme Court dismisses plea, Yakub to hang July 30

Yakub Abdul Razak MemonNew Delhi/Mumbai (IANS): The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a curative plea filed by the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub A.R. Memon, who will go to the gallows on July 30.

An apex court bench comprising Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice A.R. Dave rejected Memon’s plea challenging an earlier verdict upholding the death sentence.

As per indications, the Maharashtra government has cleared Memon’s execution for July 30 in the Nagpur Central Jail where he is lodged.

Memon — who will become the first and only accused in this 23-year old case to hang — had pleaded that he was a patient of schizophrenia since 1996, had spent nearly 20 years behind bars, and he could not be awarded both life sentence and death sentence for the same offence.

He sought a review of the apex court verdict of March 21, 2013 upholding the death penalty for the 13 precision bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed 257 people and injured 712.

He was among the 100 convicted — of the 123 accused in the case — besides many others listed as ‘wanted absconders’, including his brother Ibrahim alias Tiger Memon and mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Yakub Memon and 11 others were slapped with the death penalty, 20 got life terms and another 68, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, varying terms in jail.

Special TADA Court judge P.D. Kode, who conducted the trial and sentenced Memon and 11 others to death, termed the Supreme Court verdict “a solace after 22 years and a victory for those who believe in the rule of the law.

“The judgment shows that indulging in criminal activities is not a profitable business,” Kode said in Mumbai.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who directed the prosecution trial, said: “This is a historic verdict… The SC has distinguished the role between the conspirators and the planters and that they deserve bigger punishment.”

The lawyer said: “The death penalty is an effective remedy under the law. In this case it would act as a deterrent.”

When the then Special Judge Kode pronounced the death penalty on Memon on July 27, 2007, he had screamed like a wild animal, stunning the packed courtroom.

Once named the Best Chartered Account by his Memon community, Yakub Memon, 53, handled the finances for his brother, Tiger Memon, in Mumbai.

Named accused No. 1, Menom played a key role in the conspiracy, financing the operation through co-accused Mulchand Shah and his firms, arranging air tickets to fly to Dubai and then Pakistan for six other accused.

He was also found guilty of buying vehicles used in the blasts and possessing arms and ammunitions.

The entire family, including Yakub Memon, quietly fled Mumbai shortly before the blasts.

Kode said the March 1993 terror attack was the biggest in Indian history, targeting 13 locations simultaneously and blowing them up within a couple of hours.

The third of six sons of the late Abdul Razzaq Memon, Yakub Memon turned out to be most educated in the Memon family. He completed his schooling in an English medium school and later acquired his B.Com degree and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990.

He diversified into exports and formed a company, Tejrath International, to export meat and meat products to the Gulf and the Middle East.

In a short period, Memon became a financial success and invested in six flats in the Al-Hussaini Building in Mahim, a hub of the Muslim community, close to the famous Mahim Dargah, in the island city.